What works better for your health goals? Diet or Exercise?This is a question that never quite seems to go away — which is more important when it comes to fitness, diet or exercise? Every few years or so the “prevailing wisdom” we read in magazines seems to change. For a while, all you found in the media were reports on trendy diets like Paleo, or “Vegan Before 6”… then, it becomes all about the new “in” exercise program like Hot Yoga or Pilates. What’s the real answer to your search for fitness? That depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

Are you more interested in dropping a few pounds than you are in building muscle? If so, we’re going to have to come down on the side of diet. Even regular daily exercise won’t result in much weight loss if you’re still taking in more calories per day than you’re burning off through activity. You’ll simply stall out and won’t see the results on the scale that you’re looking for. Be sure to speak with a nutritionist or physician about what calorie counts would be best for your body type and level of daily activity, and focus on lots of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Remember — a handful of cheese crackers and two apples might have about the same calorie count, but it’s the apples that will give you health benefits and keep you full for longer.

On the other hand, if muscle-building or endurance rates higher for you than weight loss, exercise will top your list of priorities. We’ve seen all the jokes about marathon runners “carb-loading” before a big race, stocking up on calories in preparation for the serious burn they’re about to experience. When you exercise with a muscle-building or endurance purpose, the amount of calories you’re taking in becomes slightly less important when compared to the type of and duration of exercise. Weight lifters and those who make a living on fitness (such as personal trainers) often eat much higher calorie counts than their clients realize in order to maintain their muscle builds. We suggest scheduling a meeting with a personal trainer in order to discuss your muscle-building or fitness goals and decide on an exercise program that will get you the results you’re searching for.

What if your goal is a meld of the two, or just physical fitness in general? This goal is perfect for just about everyone, and in this case diet and exercise are equally important when it comes to achieving it. Exercise not only helps with any weight-loss program, it also builds up your immune system, strengthens your heart, and overall helps you to lead a healthier life. On the same note, changing up your diet to include healthier options will not only trim inches off your weight over time, it will help to complement your exercise program and get you the best results. Make sure that you’re not prioritizing diet over exercise or vice versa, but making a point to have a healthy balance between the two.

For many people, the best way to reach their fitness goals, alongside diet and regular exercise, is to have a fitness center or gym that they feel truly comfortable in. At Balance Fitness, we not only design gyms for commercial facilities, we can design and implement the perfect fitness center for you right inside your home! We also provide strength and cardio equipment that is chosen with your unique needs in mind and can help you build the perfect home or commercial gym in no time at all. Reach us by phone at (650) 348-1259 for our San Mateo location, (408)-244-3010 for our Santa Clara location, or contact us online at any time to schedule your consultation today!