No matter how hard you exercise you can’t compensate for a poor diet. You will constantly struggle with you weight but you will also endanger your total well-being. Even if you are a very active person it is incredibly hard to make up for the garbage you may be putting into your body. Even if your weight stays and you expend a great amount of calories, you can’t avoid the damage that may come from high sodium, artificial food, cholesterol, carcinogens and other things that people don’t even know the name of. Poor diet can affect your mood, energy level or even your concentration.
No one is going to convince me that exercise is bad. It is proven to reduce the risks of several metabolic diseases and promote better health and longevity in those who consistently work out. But exercise alone won’t do the trick if you are looking to lose weight. “A health report by the World Health Organization listed (in order) tobacco, high blood pressure, alcohol, cholesterol, overweight, low fruit and vegetable intake, and inadequate exercise as the biggest perils to the health of the world’s richest nations.” Many of these risks are diet related.
The obesity rate continues to climb. Portion sizes are 4 times the size they were in the 1950’s. Adults, on average, are 26 pounds larger now. There are several things we can do to be successful at controlling our weight
- · Eat smaller portions (fist size)
- · Don’t feel like you have to finish or clean your plate
- · Fill up with water or vegetables
- · Split a meal with a friend
- · Take part of your meal home
- · Choose healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil
- · Track your daily calories
- · Pick nutrient dense-dense foods
The equation to effective weight loss is simple. More calories out than calories put in. Regulating your weight by exercise alone will be tough. The average calorie burn for a Zumba class is 400-500 calories depending on how much you shake and move. The average burn for a Birkram Yoga class for a 135 lb woman is 750-900 calories for 90 minutes. Now reflect on a common meal. A 6 inch Subway turkey sandwich on whole wheat, small bag of chips, a medium Coke and one cookie will cost you about 980 calories. You can see how your workout may not be enough. You have to burn off 3500 calories to equal 1 pound. You should only lose 1-2 pounds a week if you want to effectively keep it off. The exercise classes listed above didn't even cover one meal’s worth of calories.
The key to happiness is a good balance of smart nutrition and exercise. The key to wellness is good nutrition. Your good nutrition will supply your body with the calories and energy it needs to workout. It is a wonderful marriage. Don’t cheat on either one.