Exercise and food - its not rocket science!
Exercise is a helpful tool when you want to start changing your body shape BUT, you have to look at other factors in your life as well if you want to get the optimum results that you are working so hard to achieve. When you embark on a fitness program with the sole intention of losing some weight then you have to look at diet, activity and leisure time these factors will help or hinder you in your quest for a better version of you.
Now my regular readers will know that for me exercise is above all a tool to improve my mental health, staying in good shape is a positive that comes from all my hours of hard training that I do mostly to keep my mental health on the straight and narrow, but I do have to watch what I eat as well - within reason and also depending on what time of the year it is too. For now its the off season I am just over the 61.5kg I need to be to compete in the lightweight category for the masters age group. It won’t take me much to lose the ½ kg as when I go over I try not to tip the scales too much. For me now watching what I eat has become the norm, I won’t be doing it forever but whilst I am still competing and enjoying it then I will carry it on. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes its a real bloody bind, I have been fortunate in the last few years that some great ‘treat’ products have come out such as the yummy Halo top lollies, both myself and my instagram famous cat love them, and yes I may have a chomp on one after a hard days training but that really is my only vice! I think it you really have a focus on a task ahead you want to achieve then it’s easier to remind yourself of that when the doughnuts are coming out!!
The average person though doesn’t have the obsessional goals that I do, and I do realise this, it may seem odd to someone that every morning I eat the same weight of food and the same weight of lunch during the working week, but to me it’s a habit that has been formed and will stay formed for the future until I feel I have achieved all I want to do in the world of indoor rowing. For most people variety is the spice of life and I can agree that my diet will seem extremely boring to the majority, even my kids say I eat weird stuff! So for you and your forming of good eating habits, you only have to take a few things into considerations - will your food plan be easy to follow, the price of the food to buy, time constraints on cooking it and finally is it balanced? By balanced I mean does it have all the necessary nutrients you need to keep your body working to the level you need it to all day, every day. It’s all very well finding a faddy food plan, starting it as well as your exercise program, by 3 weeks into it you are feeling great and losing weight, then suddenly after not quite believing how well you are doing with so little food you get ill, you feel tired, no energy, you feel zapped out every night and even in the morning. Now this could mean a number of things so maybe a trip to the GP is in order first, but also take a look at the food your eating, are you missing out on your complex carbs, not eating enough protein, what about your healthy fats all these nutrients are so important to keep your body active and well.
Most of these faddy diets will either tell you to leave a food group out or drink a shake instead of eating a meal. Both of these I don’t advocate, a balanced diet means eating all of the food groups (obviously allergies are a different story), if your going to not eat food and drink a shake for breakfast and lunch, well your going to lose weight aren’t you, the food your putting into your body is firstly not going to weigh as much as REAL food and secondly I personally (its only my personal opinion) think these shakes are a ‘quick fix’ to a bigger problem which will come around again when the individual stops drinking them, they mess with your metabolism making losing weight the healthy way harder, so the individual then thinks the only way to keep the weight off is to keep on drinking these shakes, which cost a whole load of money and then when the money runs out they are back to square one and hating themselves as now it’s going to be twice as hard and they have lost their quick fix. It’s such a vicious circle and one that a lot of women who are self-concious about their weight get pulled into, it’s frustrating to see.
When you exercise you have to eat well to, this fuels your body to give you the energy it needs to go again the next day and to help it recover and get stronger. Good whole food that’s not processed along with a good solid fitness program will help you gain the results you want IF that’s what your exercising for.
If on the other hand your exercising to improve your mental health then keep doing what your doing! You will also see a change in your body shape, it won’t be as dramatic as a program twinned with a nutrtional plan but it will make you feel good outside as well as in and that is a feeling worth working for isn’t it?