With restrictions finally lifted and summer on the way, the motivation to diet and exercise is greater now than it ever has been.
And with that comes the range of questions associated with exercise; does diet really matter? Can I just exercise and eat what I want? Does my diet really matter when I exercise?
Although I would love to say all you need to do is exercise, for the most efficient weight loss a combination of a clean diet and exercise is the best way.
And this can be achieved in a number of ways, and doesn’t mean going on any crazy diets. Rather it is the complete opposite, and with a little willpower much easier than you might imagine.
Diet and exercise go hand in hand
When we exercise your body uses the energy from the food you provide it to fuel yourself through that exercise.
When you feed your body sweets and treats, your body automatically stores these as fat reserves because naturally we are built this way in case of food shortages.
However, with the surplus of resources we now have available, if we don’t exercise our bodies will not use up these fat reserves and just keep them.
Now lets look at the alternative where you are exercising but don’t give your body the right fuel:
Lets say you are exercising 2 hours a day, but you aren’t giving your body enough energy or the right amount of energy to carry out the exercise.
You might be okay for the first day, and maybe even the second (although I highly doubt it) and by the third day your body is giving up on you because you aren’t giving it what it needs.
This is an extreme example, but the point is that if you give your body what it needs, it will give you what you want.
Alternatively if you don’t give your body what it needs, it doesn’t have the fuel or resources to deliver.
And equally if you give your body too much of what it doesn’t need, it’s going to store those reserves rather than using them, and that isn’t what you want either.
Long term gains over short term pleasure
So what is the solution to this? Well the reality is that sometimes the only person standing in your way is you.
If your long term goal is to be a healthy and happy person, but your short term self wants to eat foods that don’t benefit your body, perhaps it is time to make some changes.
An easy tip to try and help you make better food choices is to reduce the amount of choices you have to make. Let me explain.
If you have the option of eating healthy or unhealthy food in your home, the chances are you will go for the unhealthy food because – let’s face it – it is more tasty.
But if it was not readily available and you were hungry, you would have no choice but to eat the healthy food.
With the busy lives we live, another easy tip is to try and plan what you will eat beforehand and prepare those meals for when it is time to eat.
In this way you have done all the hard work of deciding, and when it comes to eating, you just get to enjoy your nice and balanced meal.
It definitely is easier said than done, but implementing these small changes can make a big difference and ensure your diet isn’t holding you back from achieving your long term goals.