Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What matters most: Diet or Exercise?

 

First of all, it depends on your goals. Are you training for a marathon, trying to improve your health in general, trying to shed fat, or get that toned look? Training for a marathon and getting muscle would require exercise of some sort as a base, but to remove the fat for muscle tone to be shown, a healthy diet would need to be maintained. Shedding fat typically begins with your diet. You have heard the phrase, you cannot outrun a bad diet, right? If you are having sugar puffs for breakfast every morning following 30 minutes of cardio you are not going to see much difference in your appearance. The exercise also does not take away the harmful effects of a sugar puff either. Weight lifting has shown to improve your metabolism for longer periods post workout, but may also make you hungrier. The key would be to make sure the calories you consume not just empty calories, but serve a purpose such as protein. It has been shown to help repair the tears in the muscle that lead to muscle growth. So in many cases, you need to work at both. For general weight loss, it would be fine to start by improving your diet. Once you are comfortable with eating healthier foods and maintaining portion control, studies have shown that adding exercise will ensure that you keep off the weightloss.
Second of all, what will you honestly stick to? We all have these grand notions of waking up at 4 AM and getting sweaty and following it with some veggies folded into an egg white omelet, but can you be consistent with that? Like I said before, start cleaning up your diet and then add in exercise. You don't have to start out perfect, you just have to start somewhere. If you health is not in dire jeopordy, you can take baby steps, but you need to constantly grow and improve. You want to grow and become consistent and find what will work for you for the long term. Health is about life, not just a cute outfit for your next anniversary with your husband. When you are ready to make health and fitness your priority you view the process as a lifetime commitment and less as a means to an end. 

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