When you want to make a big change in your life, you are often told to take things a step at a time. While for many things this holds true, one thing that you should not take one step at a time is getting yourself to a healthier lifestyle. A new study has shown that doing diet and exercise at the same time is more beneficial than starting with one by itself.
Lead researcher for the study, Abby King, professor at the Stanford University Prevention Research Center, says that both need to be a priority so they are both equally thought about during the day. She and her colleagues studied 200 inactive and mostly overweight people all over the age of 45. The patients had diets high in saturated fat and extremely low in fruits and vegetables.
The participants were divided into four separate groups: One learned to make both changes at the same time, the second learned to change diet first and then add exercise after a few months, the third learned to change exercise habit first and then a few months later work on diet, and the forth group learned stress management but nothing about diet and exercise.
These participants were not focused on losing weight. They were focused on living healthier lives by meeting the government guidelines of 150 minutes of activity per week, 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day, and keeping their saturated fat intake at under 10% of their daily calorie intake.
After one year the first group was able to meet all three of these goals. The second group met dietary goals but not the exercise ones. The third group did almost as well as the first with all three goals. The hope is that the information coming from this study will help people make healthier choices and try to change their diet habit and exercise habits at the same time to reap the maximum benefit from both!