You can’t out exercise a bad diet.

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You can’t out exercise a bad diet.

I have heard this too many times.  For people who have always gone to the gym or who have grown up with healthy eating, this seems common knowledge.  For the rest of us, it is not that common knowledge.  It should be, but it’s not.  I believe most of us have grown up with the understanding that “there are starving children in Africa”, so that meant clear your plate.  The thought of waste not want not, applied to food as much as anything else.  With parents that were very conservative with their money, nothing was wasted, even food.  There is nothing wrong with that practice, but there are limits.

If you don’t know how much you are supposed to eat in a day, how are you supposed to know how full your plate should be.  Most of us have grown up without a real knowledge of how much we should eat in a meal, how many meals in a day and then, to complicate things, what if I am trying to change my size and shape?

Your body will require more food if you are more active in your day.  If you sit and stare at a computer all day, you will not require as much food as a gardener.  But some people are under the thought process that you can almost eat what you want as long as you do some form of physical activity to burn it off.  Well…. not quite true.

Yes, obviously if you are trying to be mindful of your weight, calories in vs calories out is an easy way to keep track.  When you are in your teens and twenties generally, you burn calories at such a rate, that you can eat whatever you want.  Until your body decides that it’s time to start to slow your metabolism and then the ‘middle age spread’ begins.

The earlier in your life that you become mindful of what you are actually eating, the more your body won’t rebel against you later.  Also, staying active is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself.  The average American will gain about one pound of additional weight each year from age 25.  Which means, 35 additional pounds by the age of 60.  And, because we typically lose about a half pound of bone and muscle mass each year — unless we're physically active,  our body fat is increasing by 1.5 pounds each year from the age of 25 to 60.  Which means more than 50 pounds of fat over 35 years. Yikes!!

From inside the fitness world, there is some conflicting theories on this old saying.  But, 1, there will always be conflicting theories, and 2, the people who are debating this subject eat, live, and breathe working out.  They are always looking for the inside edge and the next great piece of scientific evidence the make their progress in the gym more impressive.  But for the average person who is just trying to fit healthy living into their cramped life, I believe there are just a few guidelines to follow.

 

  • Read labels     Know what you are eating, if you can’t pronounce it, try not to eat it.
  • Pay attention to your nutrition     Don’t go crazy on your % of sodium, fat, calories.
  • Figure out your daily calorie intake     If you don’t know how much you should have, you won’t know if you have had too much.
  • Stay active     Daily activity is sometimes hard, but do your best to do what you can each and every day.
  • Listen to your body     Believe it or not, you body knows when you have eaten enough, or have exercised too much, learn to pay attention to your own body.

 

Dear Diet, things just aren’t going to work out between us. It’s not me, it’s you. You are tasteless, boring and I can’t stop cheating on you..

 

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