You don’t need to worry about food if you’re exercising.
It takes a lot of exercise to generate a calorie deficit large enough to impact the bathroom scale. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, it takes roughly 35 minutes of jogging, 75 minutes of brisk walking, or 110 minutes of weightlifting to burn 500 calories. You’ll need to do that every day to lose a pound each week. (Plus, it’s easy to justify eating a little more if you’ve worked out, a common mistake that can hinder weight loss.)
Cutting calories makes a bigger impact on weight loss since it’s relatively easier to eat smaller portions, but the best approach is a combination of diet and exercise. Health benefits aside, you’ll be more likely to maintain your weight loss if exercise is part of your regime.
I know I've fallen into the trap where I think because I exercise I don't have to worry about my eating as much or that I can eat more or eat bad things. In a perfect world, I'd have time for a 75 minute brisk walk every day because that would be lovely and calming (as well as exercise-y and good for weight loss) but I'd only lose a pound a week if I did that every day. And who has time for that?
And this all comes back to the idea of making a lifestyle change, adjusting my diet and factoring in regular exercise in a way that I can maintain it. Because even if you can find time to power walk for 75 minutes every day, can you do that for the rest of your life?
I sure can't. (But if you can, could you let me know how???)