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Health is 20% Exercise, 80% Diet?

It is said that exercise contributes only 20% of health benefits but the diet contributes to the rest of the % that is 80%. How far this is true? and if it is true what type of diet I need to take to lose my body fat?

Not for health. There’s a lot more to health than diet and exercise anyway. For body composition, yes it’s mostly diet, so if you want to lose fat you’ll have to improve your diet. I’ve never carried around excess body fat so I’m not going to say what you should do, because I don’t know. Using the search feature on T-nation.com will certainly help you get started!


Thank shralpinist for your input.

Depends on your definition of health: just physical health or the full spectrum of mental, social, etc.

For health I think 20% / 80% is not accurate. Exercise has too many benefits with big effects to split it that way.

Diet allows you to manage your body weight and composition. Being overweight or beyond contributes to a bunch of conditions and risk factor for some ultimately fatal ones like heart attacks, strokes etc.

Diet is also about providing your body the nutrients it needs to function well. Nutrient deficiency can become an issue and affect health and quality of life.

Exercise is not to be underestimated though because it protective against many conditions and will enable you to ride through any issues you have better. Exercise makes you fitter and happier, enabling you to live life to the full. Later in life exercise resists the effects of ageing such as becoming frail and losing bone density which is a common way to rapidly deteriorate via weaknesses/uncoordination > fall > hip fracture > bed rest > pneumonia > death.

Maintaining “healthy” bodyweight and composition is not nearly enough to be healthy at any age but it goes a long way. Exercise has significant health benefits that diet can’t give you. Together they make for a pretty healthy individual throughout life.

I’d say 30:30:40 diet, exercise and genetics because genetics can predispose you or protect you in terms of health to a significant degree.


Health is 100% diet, 100% exercise, 100% lifestyle, 100% sleep, 100% mindset and 100% environment.

You cannot isolate the contribution of any single variable to your health, and your health is more than just the sum of various factors.

Identify what factors you can control, what you need to control and what you feel able to control, and make healthful decisions from there.

Health is 50% ground beef, 50% eggs, and 100% reason to remember the name.


Beat me to it ffs

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I thought it broke down into 23%, 17%, 41% and 19%.

That should pretty much cover it. If it doesn’t, then something is missing.

Flappinit, you win the internet today. And for everyone else cracking jokes at percentages, the OP also asked what type of diet he needs to lose body fat…

Something that puts you in a calorie deficit over a long period of time (ie. one you can stick to). I would favour those that have mostly fresh, minimally processed foods and have a good amount of healthy fats and protein in them.

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Thank you strongmangoals. Your answer is quite a good one. I appreciate it\

Awesome. This is the answer I am looking for. I am quite motivated. thanks

You can have the best exercise program but if you eat two mcdonalds quarter pounders and drink alcohol every day, you won’t be healthy

You can not exercise and eat veggies, lean meats, healthy fats and be healthy, a lot of elderly Japanese folks live up to their 80s and 90s and a lot of them never exercised in their life

Obviously for muscle-building, exercise matters a lot more because, without proper stimulus, your muscle won’t grow.