When it comes to living a long and healthy life, there are two necessary ingredients: diet and exercise. While some believe that they are inseparable, nothing could be further from the truth. It is quite possible to follow a perfectly healthy diet with appalling exercise habits. It is just as possible to be physically fit with less than ideal eating habits.
There’s a clever little line in the Jimmy Buffet lyrics “Fruitcakes” when his ‘lady’ is lamenting: “I treat my body like a temple, You treat yours like a tent”
I can’t help thinking of this line whenever I think about all the people around the world who are on these garbage in, garbage out diet regimens hoping to achieve the weight loss triumph of those who are endorsing the items.
To be totally honest, it is possible to lose pounds through dieting alone. It is difficult but possible. It is also possible to be physically fit and still have a few extra pounds. To a large part, we are what we eat. If we follow a high fat low fibre diet our bodies are going to lack the fuel needed to burn the fat. At the same time if we are not providing our bodies with the tools it needs to build muscle it does not matter how many weights we lift.
When it comes to diet and fitness, the best results are achieved when they are combined together rather. Use your fitness routine to burn surplus calories and use your diet in order to provide your body with the nutrients and fuel it requires to build muscle.
A pound of muscle takes up less space on the body than a pound of fat. Pound for pound, I would much prefer mine be built of muscle than fat. Dieting on its own does not build muscle and that is something you would do well to remember.
You should also realize that as you are building muscle you may be shedding inches while not showing a great deal of progress on the scale. It is very important that you keep this in mind throughout the weight loss process. Do not measure your progress by the scales alone or you will observe deceptive results.
The problem is that far too many people do just this, grow frustrated and give up when they are in point of fact making progress. Do not allow yourself to be a victim of the scales. Look in the mirror, try on your tight pants, and measure your waistline. Measure your success by how you feel after climbing a flight of stairs not by the scales.
By incorporating exercise into your diet routine you are also enabling your body to burn off any extra calories you may have consumed during the day. This means that if you want to have a small ‘cheat’ during your day, you can make up for it by burning a few more calories than usual in the evening. This is not something that should happen often but an infrequent occurrence is not going to make or break your diet.
You should also regard dieting and exercise as a hand and glove type of relationship. They fit together. Diet and fitness when combined can achieve incredible weight loss results for those who take them both seriously.
The thing to bear in mind is that neither works well alone and neither will work unless you are willing to do the work. You must make this a main concern in your life in order to achieve the best possible results.