Many people often have the misconception that to stay fit and healthy, one must exercise non-stop to be healthy. The flip side is also true; some people believe that eating an all-vegetable diet is enough to be healthy. However, the simple truth is that one cannot truly function without the other. A good diet and proper exercise go hand in hand. They are not exclusive. To get the best results, one must do a considerable amount of both.
If your goal is to lose weight, simply dropping your regular food intake won’t be enough. You might see some results in the first few weeks, but it will merely prove detrimental in the long run. And even though exercising constantly will show some effects, similar to simply just dieting, the results won’t be sustainable enough. Below are some reasons why this happens and how dieting and exercising can make your fitness and health goals all the more possible.
It Influences How You Feel
Simply put, what we eat can affect how we feel throughout the day. The various types of food that we consume usually have chemical additives that increase the risk of diseases.
The ones with considerably more additives to enhance flavour or extend their shelf life are often called ultra-processed food. The ultra-processed foods have increased levels of sugar, starch, and hydrogenated fats. This then causes a myriad of feelings, from lethargy to hyperactivity or feelings of irritability due to gut stress.
The gut is invariably connected to the brain, as 90% of our serotonin receptors are found in the stomach. Recent studies have shown that diet and gut health often affect mood. Eating considerably healthier food ultimately affects your mood, either empowering you to exercise and reap better results. Or it can also make you feel sluggish and more prone to skipping out on workouts.
Regardless, the idea that a proper diet in itself can encourage you to exercise should be enough of a reason to visit the nearest dietitian to help you out with your meal plan.
Food IS Fuel
Our body replenishes our energies through two primary ways: eating and sleeping. Not receiving an adequate amount of both leads to physical degradation. In the case of food, it is quite literally the fuel for our bodies. It provides us with the calories we need to function in our daily lives and the vitamins and nutrients we need to stay free of sickness.
This is why weight loss can’t be summed up with “eating less.” Our body still needs access to various vitamins and nutrients that can only be achieved through a diverse diet. Fuelling our body the right way is the only safe method of either weight loss or weight gain, not just wanton abandon of food altogether.
Helps Manage Your Weight
As mentioned in the last point, weight loss isn’t as simple as simply eating less more than you did. What people need to keep in mind is to trigger fat loss (often the primary component in weight loss), you need to be in a calorie deficit. It can be quite tricky to achieve a calorie deficit, especially if you rely on either exercise or just dieting.
This is perhaps the strongest case for doing both. If the desire is losing weight, then dropping your calorie intake (eating fewer carbohydrates and fats) and increasing your calorie consumption (through moving more) is needed for a calorie deficit.
To gain weight, especially in increasing muscle mass, you need to be on a calorie surplus. A calorie surplus involves increasing the calorie intake (eating more carbohydrate, fat, and protein-rich foods) while decreasing calorie consumption (often through resting adequately).
This method of maintaining or improving health is the scientific way to attack both weight gain and weight loss. The truth is that it isn’t just a simple matter of doing more or less. There’s a science to both aspects that needs addressing, and by doing so, you’re achieving your goals through healthy and natural means.
It Is Never One or the Other
You might see some “weight loss pills” advertised online, or perhaps you see protein powder ads that promise a certain amount of muscle increase. You should scrutinize these claims well before fully committing your time and money to them. Many products often promise outlandish claims, often without scientific backing, for companies to profit effectively. Be careful on who and what to trust, and remember that the science-verified way of staying healthy is through proper diet and regular exercise.