Is exercise or diet best for weight loss? It’s a question I get asked a lot and It’s not an easy answer. It depends on the persons current weight, diet and exercise but I’ll answer as best as I can.

If you have a lot of weight to lose, then you need to look at your diet as no amount of exercise can out train a bad diet. However, exercise will speed up the process as you need to get into a calorie deficit to lose weight and doing the two together increases that deficit.

If you don’t have much to lose but are carrying too much body fat i.e. you are flabby then exercise will certainly help. If your muscle tone is slack, you will wobble and I’d start there with a weight training programme to tighten up your body.

If you exercise regularly and think you eat ok but you want to lose a few more pounds, it gets a bit trickier. Changing your exercise programme for a while, mixing things up with weights, cardio and long runs or walks could kickstart your metabolism. Diet wise, there maybe something you could change or reduce from your diet just to get those pounds off.

I was explaining to the girls in the Studio last week what a plateau was. At first you get great results then nothing happens for months. Sometimes that’s ok, your body kind of does what it wants but in this situation I would definitely change the exercise.

If they’ve been doing a lot of kettlebells then switch to bodyweight or if they’e been doing a lot of barbell, then maybe the TRX. Your body gets used to what it’s doing and you start to lose the effect, you may even put some weight back on.

My ideal client is always someone overweight, isn’t exercising and eats a lot of crap, because it’s dead easy to start getting them results. I’m not saying I don’t like other clients, of course I do, if someone is in great shape, they may be looking for other benefits, like stress relief, company or just keeping themselves in the shape they are in.

So back to my question, is exercise or diet best for weight loss?

The answer is both but there are times when one is more important than the other.

I’ve had clients who are strong, put everything into their workout and their body isn’t changing. My focus switches to diet in this case. Often in the beginning I let a client move, get them doing exercise they’ve never done before and we focus on diet a little further down the line.

In an ideal world we would eat perfectly and work out religiously but we don’t. I find focussing on one or two small things at a time lets the client adapt at their pace, giving lasting results instead of starving themselves on a silly diet or trying to go to the gym 7 days a week

I’m back at the Studio full time now, after 6 months of illness, I’ve lost some clients and I have slots available. If you like my approach and need diet or exercise help, get in touch. It’s not a one size fits all and you need to be treated that way.


Carolyne is the owner of Fit Strong Females with a Studio in Glasgow City Centre and an Online Membership Site, with 18 years experience. She is also a Fitness, Success and Food Blogger, Author and Writer. You can contact her at or find more information at 

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