Diet and exercise are like a marriage made in heaven. If you want to lose weight, you can’t do one without the other. They work hand in hand to help people to get to their ideal weight.
Some people think that by simply changing their diet they will lose weight. Whilst this is possible, it may not be sustainable and it won’t keep you healthy. Exercise is crucial if you want to stay fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Why is your diet important?
Let’s talk about diet first, as this is what a lot of people tend to focus on. There are a lot of fad diets out there asking people to eat extreme diets in order to lose weight.
There are no short cuts to losing weight. A crash diet might help you to initially lose some weight, but it won’t be sustainable.
The key to keeping your weight down is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that you are able to maintain. Many people will go on a brutal diet, lose a lot of weight and then when they finish the diet the weight goes straight back on again.
In order to eat a healthy diet you need to make sure you are eating the right amounts of different foods.
The first thing to do if you want to lose weight is to cut down on the amount of sugary and fatty foods in your diet.
However, it’s important not to completely cut out one food group. For example, some people choose to cut out carbohydrates or fat from their diet. Fat is demonised in the media, but what a lot of diet websites forget to mention is that you need a certain amount of good fats in your diet.
Avoid trans fats and saturated fats and instead eat foods that contain unsaturated, healthy fats. For example, foods that contain good fats include nuts and avocados.
There is a general guide to the portions of the different food groups you should eat. You should aim to eat a variety of foods from the key food groups.
In order to maintain a healthy, balanced diet you should have the following foods in your diet:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, pasta and bread
- Meat, fish, eggs and sources of protein
- A small amount of dairy
- A small amount of good fats
It’s difficult to say exactly how much of each food group you should be eating, because everyone is so different. For example, some people function better when they eat more carbohydrates, and others benefit from eating more protein.
What you should be eating depends on your age, height, weight, gender and metabolism. The best thing to do if you want to determine how much of the different food groups you should be eating is talk to a dietitian or personal trainer. They will be able to help you work out a reasonable diet plan that is specifically tailored to your needs.
It’s important to eat a good breakfast, even when you are on a diet.
If you don’t eat a proper breakfast you will be more likely to snack on unhealthy foods and find you have less energy in the morning. A lot of people think that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight, when in reality it can be counter productive.
What about exercise?
Once you have got your diet sorted and you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be eating then its time to start thinking about exercise.
There is absolutely no point in going on a really tough diet if you aren’t doing any exercise. If you want to get the most out of your diet then you need to also step up the amount of exercise you are doing.
You can’t lose weight without hard work and dedication.
If you want to lose weight then you need to exercise at least three times a week. If possible, try and exercise four to five times a week.
It’s important not to push yourself too far too soon. If you don’t normally do much exercise then you need to gradually build up to doing more. Speak to your personal trainer about how much exercise you should do to begin with.
Lots of people assume that running and cardio is the best way to lose weight and burn fat. You need to run for over an hour before your body starts burning fat.
Running isn’t necessarily the best option. Try and vary the exercise you do to include both weights and cardio. You can often lose more weight from weights training rather than just doing cardio alone.
You don’t have to go to the gym five times a week. There are plenty of different types of exercise to choose from. If you can find a sport or type of exercise that you enjoy then you will be much more likely to do it regularly.
From fitness and martial arts classes to boot camps and sports such as swimming and tennis, there really is something out there for everyone.
If you can combine a healthy diet with doing the right amount of exercise then you should start to lose weight. Doing one or the other won’t help you to reach your full potential.
Both diet and exercise are equally important to staying healthy and happy. Exercise is important for both your mental and physical health.
There are some diets out there that claim you don’t need to do any exercise. They might help you to lose a bit of weight, but not in a healthy way.
People that lose weight by dieting alone will not be as healthy as those that also do regular exercise. Don’t cut corners to try and get to your desired weight. Set yourself some realistic goals and stick to a sensible diet and exercise plan and you will soon feel the benefits.