A woman doing weight lifting

Diet Or Exercise? What Works Best?

The Den DXB’s Michael Sole explains why the best bodies are a balance of both food and fitness.

‘The issue with the health and fitness industry is the need for a dichotomy. “Is it this or that?”, “Do I eat carbs or don’t I?” The reality is, much like many things in life, the answer to the question of ‘Which is more important – diet or exercise?’ depends all upon the context of the situation. 

The truth of the matter is that you cannot out-exercise a poor diet, just as you can’t out-diet poor exercise habits. However, with that in mind, we also need to prioritise what we can focus on given the circumstances we are in. 

For some people, exercising frequently can be difficult during certain periods in their life: new babies, work commitments, injury, and other obstacles that can get in the way. On the other hand, there can be periods where diet quality tends to go out of the window because of similar circumstances. It’s all about finding which of the two you can shift your focus to, maximizing the potential of either one, relative to the environment, and ‘state’ you’re currently in. Don’t get me wrong, ensuring both are in check to the utmost degree is when you’ll see the best results, but we have to assess if this is a realistic goal. I say this a lot to new people who come to The Den and are literally starting their journey to better health that very day. “You want to go all-in, 100% on this, but the reality is if I give you everything, the majority of it won’t stick.” 

“You cannot out-exercise a poor diet, just as you can’t out-diet poor exercise habits”

Now, let’s look at it from a different perspective rather than the effects on weight-loss or even physiological health. Eating “healthy” (I use quotations marks here as this is a very subjective term) and exercising is the most underutilized performance enhancer for productivity, cognitive ability, and just genuinely feeling damned good. You all know how you feel after you’ve worked out, have been eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and you’ve ticked the boxes as far as your nutritional requirements are concerned (calories, portions or whichever method of monitoring you choose). The energy you have throughout the day, the ability to undertake tasks you may have never felt confident, or “bothered” about doing before, are suddenly just things you get on with. There’s a huge, compounding effect on your overall ability to “get stuff done”, having embarked on a journey to bettering your diet and training simultaneously. 

So in answer to the question of whether diet or exercise is more important than the other, the answer is neither one beats the other. It’s all relative to the situation you’re in, what you can realistically stay consistent with, and finding the ability to balance both of them – because then, and only then will you really start to see the magic unfold, and improve body, mind, and soul.


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Revitalise After Feasting: A Post-Thanksgiving Workout Regimen to Recharge Your Body

Revive, Recharge, Thrive

As the Thanksgiving feast fades into fond memories, it’s time to give your body the attention it deserves. In this post-feasting recovery guide, we’ll explore a tailored workout regimen designed to revitalise your body, recharge your energy, and counterbalance the indulgences of the holiday season.

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The Wellness Journal

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Green Tea Assorted Energy Drink

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1. Wake Up the Body with Cardio Bursts:

Kickstart your post-Thanksgiving regimen with invigorating cardio bursts. Whether it’s a brisk morning walk, a jog, or a dance session, get your heart pumping and awaken your body from its food-induced slumber.

2. Core-Strengthening Pilates:

Engage your core muscles with a Pilates session to restore balance and stability. These low-impact exercises are perfect for toning and strengthening, providing a gentle yet effective workout for your post-feast body.

3. Yoga for Digestive Ease:

Explore a sequence of yoga poses designed to aid digestion and promote relaxation. Gentle twists and stretches will help soothe your stomach and release tension, leaving you feeling rejuvenated.

4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

Inject a burst of energy with HIIT exercises to elevate your heart rate and boost your metabolism. Short, intense intervals followed by rest periods are an efficient way to burn off excess calories and jumpstart your fitness routine.

5. Mindful Cool Down with Stretching:

Wind down your workout with mindful stretching. Focus on areas that may have tightened during the holiday festivities, allowing your body to recover and preventing post-feast stiffness.

As you embrace this post-Thanksgiving workout regimen, remember that it’s not about punishment but restoring balance. This curated routine aims to invigorate your body, clear your mind, and set the tone for a healthy and active holiday season. So, lace up those sneakers, roll out the yoga mat, and let’s embark on a journey to revitalise and recharge after the Thanksgiving feast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon after Thanksgiving should I start this workout regimen?

The post-Thanksgiving workout regimen can be started as early as the day after the feast. However, listen to your body, and if needed, allow a day or two for digestion before engaging in more intense exercises.

Can I customize the workout routine based on my fitness level?

Absolutely! Tailor the regimen to suit your fitness level and preferences. Modify intensity, duration, or choose alternative exercises to ensure a comfortable and effective workout experience.

Is it necessary to follow the entire workout routine, or can I focus on specific exercises?

Feel free to adapt the regimen to your needs. While the full routine provides a well-rounded approach, you can choose specific exercises based on your preferences or focus on areas that feel particularly tight or in need of attention.


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