You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

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Losing weight can be a struggle for many people. It doesn’t seem to matter if you have 2kg to lose or 20kg – it can be difficult, and it can be overwhelming.

The first obstacle many people get stuck on is: where do you start? Should you follow a plan? How long will it take for you to reach your goal? Will you have to live on chicken and vegetables?

It’s hard enough just choosing a diet that suits your lifestyle, never mind actually committing to one for the long haul. In reality, the best thing you can do for you and your body is just to improve your diet. And rather than finding a new diet to try, let’s look at ways you can improve your current eating habits. You’ll be surprised how much difference a few tweaks can make.

“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. People tend to rationalise eating poorly by saying “I’ll burn that off at the gym”. But it’s not that easy. You could end up in the gym for a couple of hours trying to burn what you ate in just 2 minutes. It’s a lot easier to cut calories than it is to burn them off at the gym.

The most important meal of the day

Experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Ideally, your breakfast should include some type of lean protein, as this will help keep you fuller longer and prevent you from reaching for that sugary treat when hunger strikes.

Don’t skip meals

You shouldn’t skip any meals in your effort to lose weight. Doing so only sets you further back. Deprivation leads to binges, which lead to weight gain. In essence, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll gain weight as a result of skipping a meal, rather than your original intention losing it.

Stop looking for a quick fix

We live in a society where instant gratification has become the norm. We want results, and we want them now. It’s no surprise that weight loss industry is a multi-million dollar industry.

Chances are you’ve been on at least one crash diet in your life. How’d that work out for you? Yes, these diets can get you results quickly, and that’s why they’re so alluring.  The problem is that they mess with your metabolism and, in the long run, make it more difficult to lose weight with every attempt. It’s also temporary. This isn’t to say that all diets are bad for you, but you should follow a plan that you can sustain long term.

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What should you be eating then?

Losing weight boils down to calories in and calories out. You could count calories, even for a little while, just to get a sense of how much you’re eating and to figure out what tweaks you need to make to your overall diet.

If you’re serious about getting your weight under control, then your diet should focus on these foods:

  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy oils
  • Low fat dairy.

The great thing about living in the age of the Internet is that you can find thousands upon thousands of healthy recipes online. You’ll be amazed at how yummy eating healthy can be, you just need to commit to making the change. Spend some time pinning or bookmarking things you’d like to try.  Then make a plan, write out a list and get shopping. You’ll also want to go through your fridge, freezer and cupboards to get rid of any junk.

Weight loss isn’t rocket science. The reason it’s so difficult is that processed foods are addicting. Once you stop eating them for a while, you’ll realize that you start to lose your cravings for the junky stuff.

Get moving

We can all agree that your diet is the number one factor in weight loss, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. Working out can be daunting, and it’s difficult enough to improve your eating habits, never mind adding exercise to the mix. But the truth is you don’t need to exert yourself at full capacity to reap the rewards. If you aren’t into weight lifting, CrossFit or boot camp style workouts, just try something low impact like walking or swimming. Even 20 minutes a day will boost your overall health and help you shed some unwanted pounds a little more quickly.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on a path to a healthier you. The weight you lose will just be an added bonus. If you’re still not sure what to eat, you can always refer to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. It’ll show you how much and what types of food you should be eating to maintain a healthy weight.

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