The Truth About Being Healthy
Just walk into any bookstore or open your amazon browser to view the thousands of workout programs and new diets promising you the world.
The problem is, they rarely deliver.
How can there be such a vast range of health tips yet people are having a harder time losing weight and staying healthy than ever?
In this article, I’m going to break down misunderstood health and fitness advice so get ready to make your healthy lifestyle more enjoyable.
Waiting for The Magic Pill
We all start our health and fitness journeys for different reasons, and my reasons are different from yours.
Maybe you’re starting because:
Heart disease runs in the family, and the doctor told you your health markers don’t look great.
You just had a kid and wanted to be around to watch him grow up and start a family of his own.
You’ve been active since you were a kid and you don’t want to stop now.
Your reasons may be different than your neighbors, but when we get down to the root of it, we all want to look better, feel better, and live longer in some way. For this reason, your health and fitness journey isn’t a 30-day transformation or a three-month gym membership.
Instead, I’m here to give you the tools that will allow you to continue to make progress for the rest of your life.
Use this article as a guide to making your health and fitness journey a fun and enjoyable one.
Diet or Workout: Which Is More Important
One of the biggest mistakes holding people back from seeing results is putting all their efforts, energy, and focus in one basket. This is either diet or working out instead of a healthy balance between the two.
You see, adding lean muscle and losing fat at the same time is the easiest to achieve when you focus on both.
The best part about that is, you don’t have to go 110% in either direction. is the result of expecting a proper diet and training program. That means no crazy ‘shake only’ diet regimen or 3 hour long workouts that leave you tired, drained, and nearly impossible to get out of alive.
The general censuses from most health and fitness professionals are your results depend on 60-80% how you eat and 20-30% your workout regimen.
The actual numbers aren’t important. What is important is to know that doing one without the other is going to be harder, longer, and more frustrating for you to see results.
Everyone will have one of these (working out or dieting) that is more difficult to stick to, but that’s normal. Typically, you’re going to get better results from, but again, the key is to balance the two.
If you eat right foods and workout consistently, you’re going to enjoy the process and progress you make if you choose to do one or the other.
You Can’t Choose Where You Burn Fat
If you’re like me, when you were younger (even still today) when you want the muscle to show more the idea is to do more exercises for that area.
This does make sense, but research has repeatedly shown that we can’t use exercises to spot reduce. Meaning, you can’t target an area of your body to lose more fat by working it out more, ie. thousands of crunches won’t make you lose more fat around your belly.
You can still do all of the crunches in the world, but it won’t speed up the process of burning belly fat, specifically.
How can this be happening?
Each person has areas of their bodies that are harder to lose fat around — we call this stubborn body fat. For males, this is usually the lower abdominals or love handles, for women, it’s usually the hips or thighs.
Either way, you burn fat around those areas is to burn more calories.
So what makes muscles look better?
For a more toned look or to get your muscles to ‘pop’ more a combination of losing body fat and adding lean muscle will help achieve this look.
The best way to do this is incorporate full body strength training workouts along with a proper dieting protocol to see results fast.
Over and Underestimating What You’re Eating and Burning
In simplest terms, to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.
As you can tell from the previous sections of this article the best way to do that is with a combination of diet and exercise.
Years ago, Mark Haub a professor at Kansas State proved this concept by losing 0ver 27 pounds while eating primary (about 2/3) junk food. He did it by burning more calories than he consumed.
No, I don’t recommend doing this. The type of food you eat won’t matter as much for fat loss and fat gain but it does play a more important role when it comes to performance, health, and the amount of muscle you lose or gain.
With a diet like Professor Haub’s, you are more likely to lose muscle in the fat loss process as opposed to eating more nutritionally dense foods with high protein intake to spare muscle when your body is losing fat.
If you’re following a smart and healthy weight loss plan, you can expect to lose about 1-2 pounds per week. Except for a start — which you’ll most likely lose more the first few weeks.
But if you’re like the rest of the world you’re going to run into a few rough patches.
One of the most common reasons for a rough patch is the ‘I earned this’ mentality.
This is where you’ve been on a diet or workout streak — could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or months — and decide to go ahead and start letting yourself slide because you believe you’re going to work the calories off.
Here’s the problem with that:
The majority of people overestimate the calories they burn and underestimate the number of calories they consume.
As you can imagine, this will get you into a lot of trouble because of its a recipe for rapid weight gain, frustration, and zero progress.
A great rule of thumb is to follow this… If you plan to ‘burn the food off’ after you eat it, Do NOT eat it. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
The best diet plans are ones that are sustainable and fit your lifestyle.
If you have a way of eating that allows you to enjoy your favorite foods on occasion (not as a daily reward) you’re more likely to make long-term progress this way you’re to eat your favorite food on occasion and still make progress.
Here are a few reasons why I encourage you to focus on healthy and more nutritionally dense foods as opposed to junk.
- stay full for longer
- resist temptations
- your healthier
The Big Take Away
Your health and fitness journey isn’t a short-term trip or a seasonal process.
It should be a long-term commitment that you’re invested in because you want to live a better, healthier, and more enjoyable life.
Everyone will have one of these (working out or dieting) that is harder to stick to, but that’s normal. The best results come from balancing the two.
Sustainability is going to get you the best results so adjust your diet and exercise routine with your lifestyle and to make it fit to what you enjoy.