In the past, I've shared how I lost 50 pounds in 6 months. The techniques there have served me well.
However, this last year, I've gotten a bit lax in the diet department, and noticed that I'd put some of the weight back on. I was no longer following a specific plan, and wasn't logging my meals any more. When I initially got serious about getting back in shape again, I tried to compensate by exercising more. After several months of this approach, I really wasn't making any progress on getting the weight off again.
I decided to go back to what I know (as explained in the post linked above), with some basic goals:
- exercise at least 3 times per week.
- consume calories at or below my daily target to maintain my goal weight
- lose at least a pound a week until I reach "steady state" at this new calorie level
Sure enough, I started noticing progress pretty quickly. I'm not on track to get my weight back to where I want it in the next few weeks. It is clear, from my experience, that diet and exercise together can help you meet your fitness goals (duh, right?)
However, if you can only do one of those things, you'll probably see the most benefit from paying attention to your diet. In my opinion, this is because I might skip a day or two of exercise, but I never skip a day or two of eating - and slow & steady wins the race, for sure.