When thinking about creating a healthier life, the concepts of diet and exercise take center stage. While neither habit is particularly easy to establish, both are instrumental in creating vibrant health and preserving youth and vitality. While an effective exercise regime is an important part of wellness, there is simply no substitute for a healthy eating plan for long term health.
Balance is key
You can't out work a bad diet
Long term success starts with short term habits
You want me to eat WHAT???
A common saying going around in fitness circles is, "you simply can't out-train your fork". In other words, no amount of cardio, weight training, or vigorous swim sessions are going to undo the effects of a super value meal at Mcdonald's. The combination of healthy eating AND exercise has proven to have the most significant impact on weight management, weight loss, and overall health. Here are some other reasons that you need to reign in your eating habits to see some serious gains at the gym and beyond:
1. Exercise by itself cannot sustain permanent weight loss
The majority of us unknowingly compensate for vigorous sweat sessions in the gym by reaching for more snacks throughout the day. This fact alone impedes our weight loss efforts; my establishing healthy snacking and eating habits, we will be much more likely to see better results from our training and exercise pursuits.
2. Exercise naturally increases your appetite
Regular exercise naturally increases your appetite and jumpstarts your metabolism; it does make you more hungry, however. To avoid for this excess calorie consumption, restrict your eating habits before you implement an exercise program, and you'll be more likely to see results almost immediately upon combining the two.
3. Increases in physical activity is not enough to counter rising obesity statistics
In the last twenty years, there has been a marked increase in the number of people choosing to engage in more physical activity. However, this has done very little to counter rising obesity statistics and diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. The only culprit left to look at is the standard American diet, which is rife with processed foods, saturated fats, and toxic chemicals. Moderate and even vigorous exercise doesn't keep up with the increasing load of toxins that contribute to weight gain. In order to stay ahead of the game, we must develop clean eating habits and practice self-discipline when making food choices.
4. Food is fuel
You wouldn't give a prize-winning horse substandard fare, and you certainly wouldn't put cheap gasoline into a high-performance car engine. Begin to think of your body as a premium machine, and you'll soon realize the importance of fueling it properly. If you are trying to maintain a workout routine, it's even more important to be conscious about what you are putting in your body, as it will directly affect the effectiveness of your workouts. Garbage in, garbage out........premium fuel in, high performance ensues. It's that simple.
5. Short-term results are driven by food choices
We all know that short-term successes lead to long term discipline; the more we are able to yield results as we begin exercising and eating better, the more likely it will be that we continue these habits for the long haul. Short-term intensity can lead to significant gains in energy and better sleep. The snowball is officially rolling down the hill, and you'll gain momentum as you commit to a balanced and clean, healthy eating plan.
6. The Inevitable Exercise Plateau
There are some amazing fitness and exercise routines out there these days. All of which will guarantee an elevated heart rate, a great sweat, and a huge calorie burn. However, the biggest challenge getting to that 500-1000 calorie deficit needed for weight loss (If that’s your goal) with exercise alone. A healthy restriction of calories, paired with a safe fitness routine can lead to long-term gains (or losses) and a significant improvement in your healthy lifestyle.
So what do I eat for long term results?
There are several things you can do with food to begin generating healthier habits that will last a lifetime. Meal prep at the beginning of each week is a very effective strategy that health-conscious individuals use to take the guesswork out of healthy eating. Choose recipes that fit into your lifestyle and the flavors that you enjoy, then gather all of the ingredients needed for meal prep and start cooking! Feel like you don’t have time? Use a service for grocery delivery or meal prep delivery. Both can give you hours back to your week. Don’t forget to Involve the whole family, and make it a challenge to see who can stick with planned meals and snacks all week long.
Incorporating healthier foods that promote a healthy lifestyle can drastically improve your life. Being a resident of Hawaii has its advantages, as you have access to an abundance of fresh produce year-round, foods that can be easily incorporated into your diet for better nutrition. Choose from this list of healthy foods and snacks for best results:
Quality proteins such as fish, chicken, pork, and lean cuts of beef
Fermented foods like sauerkraut & kimchi
Nuts, seeds, and legumes
A number of fresh, delicious options can be created using the foods listed above. Get creative, start a recipe sharing pool with friends, use resources that are simple and easy online, and follow some of your favorite Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and/or Pinterest accounts for inspiration with new, innovative ways to plan, shop, cook, and prep delicious and healthy meals.
Now that you have the magic formula for a lasting healthy lifestyle, the only other decision you have to make is how to incorporate new habits of healthier eating and exercise into your daily routine. Get out there into our beautiful Hawaii weather, soak up some sun, and get ready to live and enjoy your best life yet!