Diet or Exercise? Which is better for weight loss?

July 11, 2019


According to Heart Foundation of Australia, more than one-fourth or five million Australians are considered obese (2019). Although the proportion of obese or overweight Australians has been decreasing, obesity levels are still very high. They are considerably the highest among men aged between 45 and 54 years old (46.7%) and women aged between 71 and 84 years old (41.4%).

Overweight and obesity increase risks of diabetes, cancers,  and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. For this reason, it is important to follow an eating and exercise plan that contributes to weight loss and helps maintain healthy living.


What is dieting?

Dieting can be defined as a practice entailing restricted and regulated food consumption. The aim of a diet is to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight and to prevent, control or treat medical conditions and diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.


Pros and cons of dieting for weight loss

With new weight-loss diet plans emerging every week, dieting has become a very popular and effective solution for weight loss. Such plan usually involves removing unhealthy foods and drinks with excessive carbohydrates and fats from one’s diet and replacing them with healthier and nutritious options.

Although dieting contributes successfully to weight loss, is it really the most effective solution? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of dieting:


  • Can successfully lead to weight loss;
  • Reduced fats;
  • Reduced blood sugar levels;
  • Healthier level of blood pressure;
  • Lowered cholesterol levels;
  • Increased energy levels;
  • Healthier feeling;
  • Better mental health; and
  • Lower risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.


  • Can be stressful to organise, follow and endure;
  • Excessive hunger;
  • Dietary deficiencies can occur from missing out on necessary nutrients;
  • Unexpected weight gain, especially with no exercise involved;
  • Water imbalance and dehydration due to reductions in sodium levels;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle loss;
  • Hair loss; and
  • Some adverse health effects such as kidney failure.


What is exercise?

Exercise can be defined as planned and structured physical activity for the improvement health and fitness. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends of between 75 and 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week to ensure healthy living.


Pros and cons of exercise for weight loss

Exercise has tremendous benefits, but it can also come with drawbacks:


  • Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels;
  • Weight loss;
  • Increased longevity;
  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Lower risks of diseases and cancer;
  • Better moods and improved mental health;
  • Improved sleep health; and
  • Better memory.


  • Can lead to stress and frustration, especially if progress is slow or unnoticeable;
  • Dehydration from sweat evaporation;
  • Fatigue, dizziness, and nausea;
  • Can impact women’s menstrual cycles; and
  • Body pain and weakness.


Diet or exercise? Which is better for weight loss?

The answer is BOTH.

Following a diet forces body composition to change faster and more effectively than exercise alone. Essentially, dieting alone can help lose weight. However, exercise is an essential component that not only contributes to weight loss but also influences body shape and strengthening and improved mental, cardiovascular and sleep health.

Eating well and regular exercising are both vital components that will help you achieve weight loss and body goals faster and more efficiently.
Our friendly medical staff will happily discuss with you and will be happy to assist you with positive modifications you could bring to your lifestyle for weight loss.


We have a group of allied health professionals to assist with all persons needing help and advice regarding any health matter.

Call Ubuntu Medical on (07) 3857 3777 or email us at [email protected]