It’s no secret that diets and exercise routines go hand in hand. If you want to slim down and reach your fitness goals, you are always advised to pursue both at the same time. But can the two be as effective independently from one another? While it would be great to be able to hit the gym and do nothing else, it is not possible when actual results are desired.
Many workout plans usually include a meal plan as well as a package deal of sorts. For example, exercisebikesexpert.com recommends pairing your spinning exercise routine with a healthy diet based on fresh, organic food and plenty of hydration. Although often overlooked, diet is a lot more important than you’d think at first. Here’s why.
Diet vs Exercise: The Reality
Back in the day, innovative workouts were all the rage. People saw the gym as the holy land for a better body. However, public opinion has shifted tremendously since then. In recent years, we have started becoming more and more aware of the fact that a healthy diet based on organic ingredients and clever portion control is the key to weight loss.
If you’ve ever wondered about the importance of one over the other, then you are already familiar with the 80/20 percent ratio. The typical generalization in this sense goes like this: slimming down consists of 80% diet and 20% exercise. But as it usually happens with such oversimplifications, the reality is a lot more nuanced than that.
It is indeed true that carefully controlling what you eat matters more than breaking a sweat at home or the gym. A single pound is worth around 3,500 calories, and it is far easier to shed it if you cut them directly out of your diet than it is by working out. It’s important not to over-exhaust your body if you want to become thinner and stay that way too.
For example, you can easily drop 700 calories by replacing a fast-food burger with a side of curly, cheesy fries with a home cooked meal of lean poultry and steamed non-starchy vegetables. Even when heavily seasoned, this option is a lot more nutritious and figure-friendly than the cholesterol bomb you would get at your local drive-through.
Burning off the same number of calories through exercise is a lot harder than that. It takes almost a week of intensive aerobics to get to that point, provided that you work out three times during this frame, as recommended. Thus, weight loss is more about what you eat than what you do. So, what is the right approach from this point of view? Let’s find out.
The Right Approach to Weight Loss
To achieve the perfect weight loss meals, you will need to restrict some aspects of your regular diet. According to Healthline, the first essential thing to do is cutting back on sugars and starch. Because you are no longer providing your body with a ton of carbohydrates to fuel it, it will start burning through fat stores to energize itself.
By doing this, you will notice rapid weight loss at first. This is because your body is getting used to its new habits, and it is burning through adipose tissue like crazy in the meantime. What is more, reducing carbs means less water weight as well, which is a great bonus. However, it’s important to support this initial boost with even more beneficial change.
Ensure that every single meal you consume contains protein, fat, and low-carb vegetables. In the case of protein, there’s no better source than meat. Focus on lean cuts, such as chicken, turkey, or salmon, as well as seafood. Eggs are another incredibly nourishing option that is versatile enough to spice your diet up.
Get your fat from healthy sources such as butter, avocado, or olive oil. As for low-carb veggies, the most common and widely-available ones are tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and cauliflower. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, and Brussel sprouts also belong on this list, so consider them next time you’re shopping for groceries.
The great thing about these ingredients is that you can load your plate with them and reach satiety without exceeding a limit of 50 grams of carbs per day. Of course, be careful not to overdo it. After all, healthy foods can also lead to weight gain if you end up binging. It happens a lot slower, but it does occur.
Even though we’d hope things were different, the truth is that adopting a diet is essential for weight loss. And while exercise helps, it isn’t as effective on its own. At the end of the day, what you eat matters more than how often you hit the gym or perform aerobic routines at home. Thus, if you want to get in shape, consider a meal plan above all else.