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Opinion piece by Sally J’Arlette-Joy, founder of Sandwich Baron

Diet or exercise? Which is more important? Unless you’re a professional athlete, you’re unlikely to be exercising enough to cancel out an all-you-can-eat diet. Multiple research has proven that for people watching their caloric intake to reduce weight, adding exercise into the equation barely makes a dent in their overall caloric expenditure.

For instance, if a 100kg man wants to lose half a kilo a week, through exercise alone, he would need to run about 5.6km a day, assuming his diet stays the same. Through dieting alone, he needs to cut back 500 calories per day. That’s the equivalent of a Big Mac without the French fries and Coke. Theoretically, the two should achieve the same health results.

The moral is that you watch your diet if you would like to lose weight and exercise if you want to get fit. Do both if you want to be healthy.In one study reported in the US Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, researchers asked the subjects to exercise, to estimate their caloric expenditure, and then afterwards took them to a buffet. The subjects were asked to consume the amount of food that they believed they had just burned in calories. On average, they ended up eating 2-3 times the amount of calories that they burned.

Most people struggle far more with their diet than with their discipline at gym or on the track. It was this that prompted Sandwich Baron to introduce its nutritious range of low-calorie sandwiches. We subsequently supplemented them with a Banting range of sandwiches.

Banting is a dieting plan with a higher than usual fat content (and therefore flavour), high to medium protein and low-carbohydrate. It reflects newer research that in health terms fat is not the enemy or the cause of obesity – sugar is. Since the Banting menu was introduced to Sandwich Baron several months ago, the demand has exceeded our expectations. We have therefore already expanded the menu with the addition of two new delicious dishes in order to give customers more variety in their Banting meals: a picnic box and Scotch eggs.

A Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried.

Our decision to develop a Banting menu was in recognition of its health benefits – it is much more than a weight-reduction plan. It primarily addresses the modern scourge of diabetes. We will continue the search for innovations in our Banting menu.

Sandwiches – Banting or otherwise – have long been considered a healthy option as a quick meal. Now people can fill themselves up without having to run 5.6km afterwards!

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