As I know that calorie deficit cause weight loss but achieving calorie deficiency we can maintain

  1. Eat less and exercise less: Let say consume 2200 cal and burn 2700 cal by exercise.
  2. Eat more and exercise more: Consume 3500 cal and burn 4000 cal

So which option is better for effective weight loss.

  • 3
    define "better".
    – John
    Mar 14, 2017 at 12:54
  • 1
    It's a very simple calculation. Energy input vs energy output. From that point of view, it doesn't matter which road you choose. However, having more muscle means you will burn more. On the other hand, if you're used to eating 4k kcal a day, you will still do so when you skip your monster training session. Choose wisely ;-)
    – Philipp
    Sep 10, 2017 at 6:22
  • I find your 2 choices interesting. I wouldn't class 2200 Calories per day fasting. Feb 25, 2020 at 16:08
  • "A Big Mac with medium fries and soft-drink provides about a thousand calories. No problem, you say, you can burn them off by walking on an elliptical trainer. Reality problem: you'll need to do it for five hours." Exercise to maintain muscle tone etc., and eat less to lose weight. The two goals don't really have much to do with each other. Feb 26, 2020 at 1:14

1 Answer 1


A mathematical model has been created to examine the relationship between diet and exercise with respect to weight loss; Quantification of the effect of energy imbalance on bodyweight.

The NIH has provided a web based tool based on this work to help you plan a diet to lose weight, the body weight planner.

Note that 60-80% of calories consumed is used by the basal metabolic rate, digestion 10% and exercise only accounts for about 10% - 30% which explains why it is so hard to lose weight through exercise. Furthermore, people compensate for exercise by eating more, or relaxing after the exercise which reduces any weight loss benefit from the added exercise.


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