Eat Less or Burn More: Which Should You Choose?

Article contributed by: Jennifer Dawson. Photo by Bewakoof on Unsplash.

The science is simple: if you want to lose weight, the calories you take in must be fewer than the calories you expend. This means that in theory, both eating less food and burning more calories should work equally well in supporting your weight loss efforts. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), however, eating less could actually cause weight gain in the long run. But is burning more calories any better? Let’s take a look at its benefits:


It allows you to eat more

Simply put, the more calories your body burns, the more calories you need to take in to maintain its current composition. In other words, the faster your metabolism is, the more food you can eat without getting fat, and, isn’t this the dream?

In contrast, according to Sheri Bark, MPH, RD, eating less leads to a slower metabolism and a host of other health issues, and if you do it for long enough, your body will have no choice but to burn more muscle and store more fat in an effort to keep you alive and functional. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat, and a starved body wants to conserve as many calories as it can for survival.


It forces you to become healthier and stronger

Ever notice how older people tend to have less muscle? Well, that’s because according to a study conducted by Ronenn Roubenoff, as people age, they naturally start losing lean muscle due to Sarcopenia, which in turn causes a decrease in their resting metabolic rate.

Don’t lose hope, though, because you could easily prevent this from happening with resistance training. Not only will it allow you to keep all of your muscles, but it will also help you add to them and ultimately make your metabolism faster in the process.

But that’s not all resistance training has to offer. By simply being more physically active, you automatically reduce your chances of suffering from a multitude of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and even osteoporosis.


It helps you get more out of your workouts

The faster your metabolism is, the quicker your body is able to convert the calories you take in into energy that you can use. This means you can work out harder and, in turn, build more muscle and burn more fat with every trip to the gym. Of course, the more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism becomes, so this cycle allows you to just keep getting better at getting fit.


So, don’t be afraid of calories

As long as you stay active and eat healthy, you should be perfectly fine. A cheat meal here and there isn’t be a problem and may even help you stick to a healthier lifestyle in the long run.

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