While there may be a million different ways to lose weight and get in shape, not all methods are equal. Try a simple internet search for weight loss diets or exercise plans. Chances are you’ll be flooded with countless fad diets and rigorous exercise routines. These options seem pretty tempting. They might even work in the short term, but there’s no silver bullet for fitness and chances are they won’t offer very good results in the long-term. So what is a health conscious person to do? The secret to long-term results and life long fitness is a combination of healthy exercise and proper nutrition.
Diet and exercise will work on their own, but often neglecting one will harm any progress made with the other. You could exercise all you want, but if you eat nothing but junk food everyday you won’t see much progress. To truly be effective, these two things must work in tandem with each other. Think of your diet as fuel for your body. Everything you eat is converted into energy to power everything from your heart beat, to your breathing, to every one of your muscles. As such, a proper diet is a crucial component to any exercise routine. Without the proper fuel, you won’t be able to reach your full potential.
To provide the proper fuel for your fitness, you have to think about your needs. Are you looking to lose weight? Gain mass? Just stay healthy? A lot of diets will focus on a single aspect of a diet, whether cutting it or emphasizing it. These types of diets must be taken with a grain of salt. While emphasizing or de-emphasizing one part of a diet can be beneficial, maintaining a balanced diet is still key.
There are three major components to a diet that need to be balanced to maintain proper nutrition. These are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All of these are necessary for the human body to function. As such, it can be harmful to completely eliminate one from a diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy needed to function, proteins are vital in development and maintenance of muscle, and fats provide the body with essential fatty acids and the ability to absorb vitamins needed for the body to function properly.
If you’re watching your weight or wish to shed a few pounds, it would be wise to watch your carbohydrate intake. While necessary to provide energy, excess carbohydrates are easily converted into fat by the body. However, if you consume too few carbohydrates you may find yourself too tired to work out. Protein is absolutely vital to any athlete. Proteins help the body repair muscles after strenuous workouts and help it stay healthy in the long-term. Weight lifters in particular should make sure they are getting enough protein in their diet to increase their muscle gain. Finally, fats should be included in everyone’s diet, regardless of their activity level. Without proper fat intake, the body will struggle to absorb the vitamins it needs to function properly.
If it really is as simple as that, why isn’t everyone doing it? Why are so many people struggling to stay on track? In a world of crash diets and machines promising 30 day money back guarantees, we are conditioned to want instant fitness gratification. Unfortunately, these methods provide little lasting result. The best way to stay fit and healthy is a proper balance between nutrition and exercise. It may not be glamorous, but keep active and provide your body with the fuel it needs and you’ll be surprised at your results in no time.