It can be extremely difficult to lose weight—there never seems to be the proper combination of diet and exercise that works. If you were given only one option to decide on, which one would you choose? So many people place emphasis on maintaining strong workout habits so they can eat whatever they want afterwards, but in actuality you really only need to maintain a careful healthy diet to look like the next Instagram model. So the next time you have to decide between eating that chocolate bar and then running an hour on the treadmill or ditching the chocolate bar and eating a salad instead, researchers strongly suggest ditching the chocolate bar and going for the salad.

Your overall level of physical activity is not your primary determining factor for weight loss. Eliminating saturated and trans fats from your diet and eating less carbohydrates at night will lead to greater weight loss maintenance than doing physical exercise.

Of course, both diet and exercise together would be the best combination for tightening up your core and eliminating the fat you don’t want. By no means eliminate exercise from your routine; exercise has so many more physical and cognitive benefits, such as slowing your aging process and improving mental health. Exercise has been noted to not only burn calories while you’re awake, but also burn calories while you’re asleep. An eight-hour sleep at night equals to approximately 300 burnt fat calories—but if you ingest carbohydrates before bed, then no fat is being burnt. If you’re serious about losing weight or maintaining healthy habits, you’ll understand that overeating or overportioning your meals is not a step in the right direction.

What’s being argued here is that if you’re emphasizing a strong workout routine, but haven’t concentrated on your nutrition, you should spend your energy focusing on what you’re putting into your body a little more. Then if you have enough time to hit the weights or the pavement, then go ahead and do that.

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