Today I want to look into the importance of exercising and dieting at time same time, pointing out how important it is to keep both in balance with each other. In other words, it is pretty much useless to exercise if your diet is poor or there is no sense in eating well and never spend any time on fitness.
Working out will give you stronger muscles, toner look and healthier feel but you will only be able to see results when you lose the flab. And this is when diet comes in handy.
I bumped into the article on news.com.au which made me re-think again how crucial it is to eat AND workout in a balanced progress to look and feel better. The article “Explained: Why you’re still fat” is talking about several important issues I would like to raise now. To start with, I totally agree with “modern society seems pretty damned determined to make us fat, and for most of us, it’s succeeding in turning us all into tubs of bacon grease”. All the yucky food we love so much is made to be tasty! Many restaurants and take away venues add monosodium glutamate in their food for it to taste better and be addictive.
Additionally, many people are allergic MSG foods like myself. I am a big fan of Chinese food, for example. Although I am aware of its mad calorie value, I still could never understand why my face gets so swollen after Chinese dinner. Calories do not make you swollen just like that. However MSG is a topic of my other post, I just want to mention it so people can think twice before adding MGS food in their everyday routine.
One of the important issues the article raises is mental reward. Now, my friend once said “we train so much to be able to eat chocolate after”. Sadly, rewarding our workout is a waste or the workout. Many people underestimate the amount of calories they consume. Especially if you are not in the habit of constantly checking with your food diary, it might be difficult to keep up with what you have eaten and bunt. Therefore, people often burn 300 calories in the gym and than reward with 500 over dinner or next day. Do the math! You have just stored these extra 200 calories.
Another important matter I want to mention when it comes to dieting and exercising is understanding WHY and WHAT. I always say that it is important to fully know why you are doing whatever you are doing. I encourage everyone to get interested in sport to do it better. Feel free to learn physical science, human body and personal training for the sake of getting deeper knowledge. Additionally, we are best at what we like. And I guarantee you that as soon as you start learning about fitness; you find something absolutely fascinating about it for yourself and won’t stop researching. If you have not started your research yet, I will tell you that exercising “prevents brain deterioration with age, anxiety disorders, reverse type 2 diabetes, stave off heart disease and cancer, arthritis, and probably prevents a bunch of other nasty conditions that we don’t even know about” which is great, isn’t it. However if you want to understand more about the fat loss side of fitness start your own research now! The process will satisfy you as you start getting answers to your questions.
Here is a curious fact. I have mentioned before [in my previous posts] that for heavier people it might be better to stay away from cardio for some time; however the thinner you get, the more cardio you need to stay lean. Curious isn’t it?!
Now, people often find millions of excuses not to exercise. And they all are very valid reasons. For example, my excuse [when it takes place] is often tiredness, excruciating loss of energy and lack of time to physically be able to go to the gym. However do not forget there is never going to be enough time for everything, YOU make your own time. I would like to outline several tips I find helpful:
1. First of all, take your time! Nothing happens in one day. It is going to take some time for you to get back to your normal pace and routine.
2. Listen to yourself! If you feel like pushing yourself a little go for it. However if it too difficult, slow down, take longer breaks, drink more water but carry on.
3. Do not copy others! People are often scared of fitness clubs. I often hear people saying that they do not feel good in the gym. However remember you are not alone. Gym is the place with fitness equipment and many people just like you.
4. Gain more knowledge! If you are not sure what to do in the gym, ask the staff or PTs but if it is not something you prefer, research. I personally often spend time on the Internet going through hundreds of videos and articles before heading to the gym.
5. Know why and what! I am probably repeating myself now but I want to make it as clear as possible – make sure you know why you do it. Is fitness something you want or you just feel like going because your friends do it? It is often harder to do something you don’t really want to.
6. Make you own diet! Learn foods and nutrition! Make sure you’re dieting correct. Remember: junk food IS addictive!
7. Make sport and diet your lifestyle! Do not drag yourself to the gym with the miserable face. If you do not know how to make yourself lie it, get a partner and drag each other [one of the options].
While you are exercising your body, exercise your brain. Do NOT adopt the rewarding mentality but use the opportunity to resist bad foods. However it is often hard to fight bad habits and stress, our lives are often too stressful. And as we all know we often eat more of less healthy food when stressed. There are some tips the article offers how to succeed and carry on with healthier living in stress you are or not
First, we need to develop a routine! Before we work our sport and diet routine, we really need to think of the priorities. When our life is all settled with the current routine, it is often hard to bring a new change such as all of a sudden stop buying coffee at work after doing it for years; or going to the gym or a run after work instead of usual drinks with friends. It’s all our habits we have developed over time. Make fitness and new diet your new habits!
Next, as mentioned earlier if your losing weight or growing muscles, take time! In fact, forget about losing weight or gaining muscle for the first week so you don’t expect results to soon hence don’t be too harsh to yourself. Again, BE PATIENT! Now, as soon as you found your routine and going steady, start experimenting and go a little harder each time. This is when your fitness diary might be handy to record your repetitions, time spent of each exercise and first results. It will also give you an extra motivation when you start seeing your first results.
And of course, BE PROUD of your new routine! I often get comments from many people that my fitness freakiness [as they call it] is over the top, not necessary, silly or anything else they can think of. Unfortunately, it is their jealousy talking. People who do not have your will and strength are often envious of you having them. Do not get intimidated by other people’s weaknesses. Do what you think is right for you.
Now, next step is something I have been engaged in for years now. In the article, it is called counter-conditioning which is basically learning to hate what you love, and it’s a critical component of changing the way you eat. You need to start reviewing your diet more serious and adopting new habits by liking food you never enjoyed before. Start realising just how badly junk manipulates you. This approach is good for any habit you want to quite: eating junk, smoking, alcohol, lack of action … anything really! I personally have tried this way of thinking when I was a teen. I decided one day that whenever I get offered certain food [in my case it was pasta and potato] I simply say “oh no thank you, I don’t like it” instead of “no thanks , I am watching my figure” which often triggers a lot of “oh you don’t need to” or “just have a bite” or even “oh you and your stupid diets”.
Those comments are often discouraging for many especially at the beginning of their new health & body trip. Again, be patient and do not punish yourself if you fail. As long as you go back to the right track you are still making progress.
Remember: only when you stop you fail, small failures are not failures, but your trials. When children learn how to walk, they first crawl and keep falling as trying to stand up. After a while, they make their first step and end up finally walking, running, jumping. It is very similar with your new habits. And of course do not forget that you cannot go back to your old lifestyle and expect to keep your new body. If you give up dieting and exercising, your body will immediately respond to it.