When it comes to weight loss, how important is diet?

Personal trainers get this from clients all the time, people who have started working out but haven’t changed their diet. They want to lose weight, but don’t want to change their eating habits.

The answer to this questions, is VERY.

Exercise is important for health and fitness, but exercise alone, for most people and especially for women, will not get them the results they want.

Here are a few reasons why:

1) Most people underestimate the number of calories they are eating. If you are eating 3000 calories per day, and begin an exercise program that burns 300 calories per day, you still eating more than 1000 calories too many. You won’t see results on the scale, although you’ll start to feel better because exercise is good for you. For most people, the amount of exercise required to “burn it off” when the levels of consumption are that high would be hours and hours of daily exercise, not just the normal 45-60 minutes.

2) Frequently, when people start a new exercise program, they begin to think they’ve “earned” extra calories, so they consume more instead of less. This is a common mistake. A 30-60 minute cardio workout will likely only burn between 200 and 400 calories, depending on your level of intensity. That doesn’t give you the freedom to eat more. One slice of pizza is between 200 and 300 calories. That one workout may cancel out one or two slices of pizza, but it won’t take care of the ice cream, beer, or other indulgences.

Each person is unique and has a different metabolism and nutritional needs. Exercise is good for you, no matter what the size, but it definitely won’t take the place of watching what you eat, and without managing your diet, you likely will not see the results you desire.