On our blog, we regularly discuss exercise as a great method to losing weight but you can be seriously overweight while rigorously exercising on a regular basis. It might seem counterintuitive, but I once had a friend that worked out 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year and although he was tall, he also weighed more than 450 lbs. and was obviously unhealthy with the amount of weight he was carrying.
If you are one of those who need to start exercising, many times, starting to eat healthy can be the easiest first step. Simply making an easy decision to skip dessert or cut your portion size in half can give you an incredible leg up when you begin your exercise program. It is not good enough simply to increase your caloric burn and improve your metabolism through exercise, you also have to limit the input of calories which is done by controlling your eating.
It also helps when you choose the correct things to eat. In the past, the entire focus was on limiting caloric intake but if you consume your entire daily caloric allowance by eating chocolate bars (no matter how good that sounds), you are putting junk into your system and your system will react accordingly. When I started to get healthy, my doctor told me to get more exercise but he also told me to eat at least one salad per day.
Not only do you need to limit your caloric intake but also make better food choices. For instance, at my office, instead of keeping candy bars or chips around for snacks, I have chosen to keep nuts in the break room. Eating healthier options, even for snacks by consuming nuts, berries, and other healthy choices while limiting your salts, sugars, and carbohydrates will keep your body running at peak efficiency.
Have you ever had a meal or snack with a high level or carbohydrates, sugars, fats, or salts and then felt terrible and felt like you needed a nap? That’s because your body is reacting to the poor fuel that you are providing for your body. Simple healthier choices will improve that reaction. Choices like fresh, boiled or baked fish with no breading or skinned, boiled or baked chicken with no breading will give your body the fuel it needs while providing you with the nutrients that you need to properly exercise.
Back to my friend…although he exercised regularly for decades, his excessive weight caused him to die before he reached the age of 60. That didn’t need to be the case but he was unable or unwilling to change his eating habits. Although none of those facts can change his story, it can serve as a cautionary tale for you. When you decide to work out, choosing how to eat can be just as important and when you decide what to eat, choose carefully. It is not that having a chocolate bar from time to time will destroy you, it is that making regular, good choices is paramount to living a healthy life.