You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet
“I used to be able to eat ANYTHING ...what happened?” You aren’t 18 anymore!
The truth is, tight abs and a sleek bod are made in the kitchen, and no amount of cardio and crunches can make up for an unhealthy diet, especially as you age.
It is vitally important to align your caloric input with your average, daily physical activity (caloric output). Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when you are assessing your food intake and questioning why you may not be reaching your body goals. I have a friend who counts calories every day and exercises on a regular basis; however, here’s the kicker - she lives on candy and popcorn. Is she thin? Yes, she is thin; however, her body composition isn’t toned and sleek. If she consumed lean protein, good carbs and healthy fats, she could still maintain her preferred caloric intake but her body would respond differently as the nutritionally dense food choices would contribute to a leaner, firmer and more sleek physic. Make sense? A restrictive eating plan, paired with hardcore exercise, will more than likely leave your body relying on muscle mass for energy, aka – cannibalization. Additionally, maintaining a very restrictive diet for a prolonged period can lead to a reduction in muscle tissue and can decrease the ability of your muscles to perform well. Regular exercise is obviously a key component for staying in shape and maintaining overall good health; however, exercise sustains weight loss - but, a healthy lifestyle that incorporates nutrient dense foods is what fuels it.
What are your goals? Personally, I live by a 90/10 rule (sometimes 80/20). I’m not perfect, and chances are neither are you. Living 100% healthy, 100% of the time is out of the question for me. I’m human. I’m not a world-class athlete. I’m a middle-aged, full-time working mother of two teen daughters. I look at things realistically but I also want results. I strive to maintain a healthy weight and physic for my age, height and gender but I also enjoy a "treat" every now and then. I mean, let’s be real!!! With all these things in mind I try to create the most effective balance for me and my lifestyle while allowing a little bit of wiggle room to indulge every now and then. Please keep in mind, a cheat meal is a cheat meal for a reason, it shouldn’t happen daily. Yes, it’s ok to have a cheat meal here and there, but try not to make it a weekly or even bi-weekly thing. Set short-term goals that require daily, immediate actions, and long-term strategic goals that align with your lifestyle. What are you trying to achieve? If you want lasting results then a healthy, consistent lifestyle is the key. If you need to fit into a swimsuit on vacation and you don’t have plans beyond that, then that’s a short-term “diet”. Diet’s don’t last, lifestyle’s do. Keep this in mind ... the first 3 letters of diet, spell “DIE” and here’s why. Diets are short term and typically die on the vine, producing yo-yo results. Again, ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve?!
Strive to live a healthy lifestyle that is well- balanced. Be realistic in setting your goals as it’s very important to set yourself up for daily successes. Too often we set unrealistic expectations and goals that leave us feeling defeated and deflated. You deserve to succeed!! Set yourself up to do just that – SUCCEED!! Live by the 90/10 or 80/20 rule (or whatever rule works for YOU and YOUR goals) and get after it. Here’s to YOU and ditching diet’s!