By Alicia Silvia
Do you ever feel like despite your perfectly planned weeks of ass-kicking MISSION classes, you still aren’t reaching your goals? If you have, don’t worry you aren’t alone, and there’s an answer for you, and everyone else that’s been feeling this frustration.
Not that you should go on a diet, just that in general your diet, or the way that you eat, is almost definitely what’s holding you back. There’s a long-held belief that if you want to lose weight, or stay fit you need to exercise, and while this isn’t necessarily false, it’s really not the biggest factor involved. The choices you make about food, and eating have a huge impact on the way you feel, and the speed at which you reach your health and fitness goals. So, let’s get into it:
5 Reasons You Can’t Out-Exercise A Poor Diet
1. EXERCISE IS PRETTY INEFFICIENT –
Even a killer ROW class, will only burn around 600 calories, and 600 calories can be consumed in no time! It’s important that you pay attention to the quality of the calories that you consume, and your serving sizes. Whole, minimally-processed foods, with an emphasis on whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein (chicken, fish, beans, etc.) allow you to properly fuel your body for the exercise it’s doing without encouraging the storage of fat cells.
2. EXERCISE INCREASES YOUR APPETITE –
The human body is designed to survive, so when you exercise it triggers signals within the body to consume more calories in order to recover, and prepare for your next physical activity. This is a good thing but, if you satiate that need for more, with poor choices like: refined carbohydrates (white breads, pasta, etc.), fast food, or processed snacks, your body will continue to be hungry, because it’s seeking more than just calories, it’s seeking nutrients. If you don’t fuel up with nutrient-dense food, and instead opt for empty-calorie foods, you can end up in a never-ending cycle of hunger, and excess calorie consumption.
3. YOUR DIET FUELS YOUR WORKOUT –
When your diet is lacking in nutrition, your actual exercise performance is hindered. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, you have to eat in a way that supports your activities. Small improvements to the way that you eat, can help you make more progress in your fitness than you would even believe. Eating poorly, while exercising regularly is like using awful tires, and regular gas on a really nice, powerful car. Your body can only work as well, and as efficiently, as you feed it.
4. THERE’S MORE TO HEALTH THAN WEIGHT –
If your goals reach beyond just wanting to see a certain number on a scale, which they should if we’re being honest, then your diet is undeniably the most important factor. For some people, exercise might be all it takes to keep up a nice figure but exercise isn’t enough to prevent chronic disease. At least 4 out of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. are lifestyle-related, which means that if you watch what you eat, don’t smoke, and stay relatively active you can avoid them entirely. Try thinking about it that way the next time you decide that, because you took a cycle class this morning, you can eat whatever you want.
5. YOU CAN’T EXERCISE IF YOU’RE ALWAYS SICK –
The actual foods you eat, and whether or not they contain certain vitamins and nutrients, can have a serious impact on how often you get sick. If you don’t feed your body a healthy balanced diet, it won’t be properly equipped to fight off the germs you are exposed to in your everyday life. And, that multivitamin is not going to make up for a lack of nutrients in your diet, the reality is you need actual food.
When it comes to reaching your goals and feeling good about your body, exercise and nutrition are both hugely important. So, to put immense effort into one of them and disregard the other is working against yourself. If you have the exercise part down, try focusing a little on your diet by taking small steps towards improvement: have an additional serving of vegetables each day, drink more water and less of other beverages, switch from white bread to a high-fiber seedy whole grain bread, start reading ingredient labels instead of just looking at calories – little changes like these ones, over time, will add up and can really make a huge difference for you.
SKIN HEALTH –
Ever find yourself on a seemingly hopeless hunt for better face wash, or acne treatment, and seemingly nothing is working? Maybe next time take a look at what you put into your body, rather than what you put on it. Your diet can truly make or break your skincare routine. What you eat can also impact the signs of aging in your skin, if you don’t want premature wrinkles, start thinking about what you eat. Your skin cells only have a lifespan of about three to four weeks, which means they are reproduced constantly. Your body can only create new cells using the fuel you provide it, so give it some quality fuel and you may find that you have more beautiful skin than you ever thought possible (same goes for your hair and nails!).
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Content of the blog is opinion and not to be considered scientific fact. All readers should consult a medical professional for questions concerning individual medical and dietary needs.