In a perfect world, everyone would work out enough and eat right all the time. But that's not always possible, so we turned to the experts to find out what really matters most--dieting or exercise--for losing weight, fighting disease, and boosting overall well-being. Here, we crown the champ in each category.
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TO LOSE WEIGHT
The winner: Diet
The reason: As research makes clear, trimming calories from your diet is the most direct route to a smaller dress size. "It's much easier to cut 500 calories than to spend an hour in the gym burning 500 calories every day," says Timothy Church, M.D., Ph.D., director of preventive medicine research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. However, both diet and exercise are essential for keeping that weight off.
TO BOOST ENERGY
The winner: Exercise
The reason: Exercise causes the brain to pour out invigorating neurotransmitters like dopamine and