It comes as no surprise to anyone that as people have transitioned to a more sedentary lifestyle in place of the one that we had become accustomed to for thousands of years, problems with our health and fitness would arise that we would inevitably try to correct. One of those problems are now the numerous documented negatives attached to living a sedentary lifestyle (i.e. one that involves a lot of sitting) and not enough physical activity. For all of our history, we have never had to worry about our fitness since for almost all of human existence, we had to work non-stop everyday to survive.
The problem was always having not enough food and too much physical labour. However, that has recently been turned around on its head. The recent trend to take time out of our days to maintain our physical fitness and health is a massive shift in us deliberately making ourselves healthier and living longer based on personal decision instead of necessity. So, you’re here to find out how to make the most out of your routine by supplementing your workouts with the proper nutrition/diet. Well, in that case, you have come to the right place.
Nutrition vs. Workout - Is One More Important Than the Other?
The question often posed by many is which one has a greater impact on a person’s health out of a fear of being unable to hold themselves to the restrictions and goals they set up for themselves in advance when it comes to these categories. For instance, someone with a sweet tooth who can’t give up eating a bowl of ice cream twice a day might prefer to only workout or likewise someone who hates going to the gym might prefer to simply cut down on calories. However, this is not the right way to go about the problem.
For one, as we are well aware, calories don’t solve the problem of weight in the long-term. The goal when it comes to weight loss should be burning fat, not calories. A strict focus on burning calories through cardio and through strict diet regimes is not effective. This is because rapidly depriving your body of the energy it needs to go on will cause you to starve yourself which is incredibly effective in the short-term but as soon as you start to relax, all that weight will come rushing back. Sometimes to an extent even more so than before. The problem is that you don’t allow your body the ability to get used to its new condition and unless you can hold out starving yourself for years without end, here’s an alternative.
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine on behavioural weight management programs in relation to nutrition and exercise, the observers found the ideal ratio for weight loss is an 80:20 ratio. Exercise is being represented as the latter and nutrition the former. This means that diet is significantly more important than fitness when it comes to weight loss. When it comes to general fitness and muscle building, you’re still going to have to work out… sorry. Regardless, a proper sports diet that prepares you for the day can go a long way towards your plan of achieving a certain goal in the coming months and or years. Here are some tips to improve your nutrition.
- Enjoy your food by eating less. Many of us have a problem with taking our time when chewing food, instead preferring to swallow it all up and demand more. Taking the time to chew your food will help you better satiate your appetite while also learning to enjoy the most out of every bite.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Try to purchase more fresh produce instead of pre-made ones since high sodium products have been linked to many conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and in some cases, calcium loss.
- No more sugary drinks with food. It has been shown that consumption of sugary drinks during meals tricks your brain into making you hungrier, that’s the reason fast food places often serve large sugary beverages alongside their food. Hot drinks like tea for instance have the opposite effect by making you fuller which is why sushi buffet restaurants similarly constantly serve hot tea.
How Does Fitness Tie In To This?
The best sports diet as well as the best workout are closely linked together and pulling off both in synchrony can lead to outstanding results. For instance, morning exercises have been known to have many health benefits, more so than at any other time of day. Some examples include that morning exercises burn more fat since fat oxidation, the process through which our bodies break down fats occurs naturally in the morning before breakfast. There is of course variation in the amount burned based on the type of exercise being performed and the type of gym equipment and fitness equipment used but in general, that is the trend.
Another example is metabolism; it has been shown that morning exercise will increase your metabolism so your body will be more adept and efficient at breaking down your fat. Finally, exercise improves your quality of sleep. It has been observed that those who exercise in the mornings have better and deeper sleep than others. This is due to the body releasing hormones and adrenaline during the exercise which afterwards, after it subsides, leads to a sort of runner’s high in which your body releases serotonin which is one of the body’s “happy hormones”.
Diet and Fitness - The Unstoppable Duo
So how does this coincide with your diet? Well, to start off, having a proper diet of more leafy greens with meat or leafy greens with grains has been shown to also increase your metabolism so that your body can keep up with your food intake. A proper diet has also been shown to improve your quality of sleep. For instance, some studies by the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Services have shown that food is processed differently at different times of day and that when food is consumed late at night, the body is far more likely to store it as fat rather than to burn it as energy since your body isn't expecting you to do any work when you’re about to go to sleep. All this shows how proper fitness habits along with a proper diet lead to an ideal framework for a new, healthier lifestyle.
Living a healthy lifestyle requires us to think about the choices we make and act in ways we might not be comfortable with. It might also be surprising to learn that the massive boom in popularity of going out to exercise overshadows the importance of diet as well as eating habits in the media even though the latter is more crucial. At the end of the day, you might be using the greatest fitness gear in the world but poor scheduling and rewarding yourself with binging on your favourite snacks at night after a hard workout will not get you where you want to go. It’s always important to remember that a healthy lifestyle is not supposed to be torture. It's supposed to be something you’re happy with. Something that makes you feel good on the outside and inside. So to sum everything up: eat less but more, take time out of your mornings to exercise and be happy!