Monday February 10 2014

Diet vs exercise: What do you prefer for weight loss?

Some people who use diet as a way of losing weight prefer to eat fruits and vegetables which they consider to be healthy and free of fats and sugars.

Some people who use diet as a way of losing weight prefer to eat fruits and vegetables which they consider to be healthy and free of fats and sugars. 

By Christine Katende

Losing weight could have been one of your resolutions for 2014. But then you are in a situation where you do not know how to achieve that resolution. Do you go on a strict diet, skip meals or do you eat normally but engage in exercise?

Diet or fitness?
Dieticians and fitness experts say both options are recommended. What is more important is how you make either of them work for you.

Hope Nimurungi, a dietician with AAR clinic says diet and exercise have to go hand in hand if one is to get the best results. “Doing exercise means losing excess fat or energy that has not been utilised by the body. The more you engage the muscles, the more energy is used hence burning off the fat,” she says.

But for people like Rose Nakagulile, a restaurant owner, diet has not helped her achieve her weight loss plans. Nakagulile who weighs 90 kilogrammes says she jogs and thereafter, takes lemon juice, eats foods such as beef, pork and chips. Besides, Nakagulile says she drinks waragi after friends advised that it would help her lose weight.
“Unfortunately I am not seeing results,” she says.

According to Nimurungi, eating such foods after exercise only works to replace the fat that has been lost. “It means that the person will be doing exercise to be fit and not lose weight,” she says.

Modify your diet
Nimurungi further explains that a person aiming at losing weight should modify their diet and increase the amount of energy they use every day during exercises such as jogging, swimming and aerobics.

“What you eat determines the amount of fat your body gets. It is the amount of sugar in the body that transforms into fat, and that fat can increase your risk for complications of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and depression and back pain. “Having too much fat and sugar in the body also blocks energy from being accessed by the body,” she adds.

Balanced diet
She advises people to eat healthy to maintain a good life and do regular exercise to keep fit. “Have a balanced diet with foods rich in carbohydrates, low energy foods like dairy products and high energy foods like fruits and vegetables,” Nimurungi says.

She adds: “Whether you choose to diet or exercise, either of them can work as long as you are active and consistent with your plan. If you aim to achieve results after a certain period of time and abandon the diet plan, the results that you will have achieved will be lost.” Nimurungi, however, cautions that over exercising wears out the muscles. So it is better to do it within a limited period of time.