One thing that I hear a lot from people is that what they’re currently doing isn’t getting them the results that they want or they find it hard to even do so. HECK YEAH it’s hard and it won’t be easy (TRUST me when I say it’s NOT easy, mainly to be consistent). HOWEVER, are you putting the W O R K in to really lose that weight/fat, tone and/or gain muscle? Often times people forget where it all starts: in the kitchen. Exercise and Nutrition are EQUALLY important but I emphasize nutrition a tad bit more, even for myself, to that get under control to achieve my goal first in order to attain the goal that I am trying to meet. Working out is honestly pointless if you eat poorly. You can go to the gym all you want and be the exact same size as you started or possibly can gain more weight. You won’t have the physical endurance to push through tough workouts if your nutrition is off. Unhealthy food choices, whether you’re eating too much fat, too many calories, or not enough of either, makes you feel sluggish and lackadaisical. You are what you eat: If you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap. If you eat great you’ll feel great. Nourish your body with quality foods that you can eat more of such as foods that are high in volume, but low in calories. This will help to fill your plate and your stomach without overdoing the calories. Load half of your plate with colorful vegetables and/or fruits and one-quarter of your plate with whole grains and/or starchy veggies, the other portion is protein and fats.
You can’t exercise off a bad diet. You’ve all heard someone say, “Would you fill your car up with bad quality gas? Imagine what kind of shape your car would be in if you constantly did so. Treat your body this way.”
You HAVE to constantly feed your muscles in order for them to grow. When you exercise, you are ripping muscle tissue so it is imperative to repair that with complex carbs, healthy fats, veggies and proteins to build that muscle. You HAVE to constantly feed your body what it needs for overall good health and wellness. Exercising uses a lot of your body’s resources and that needs to be replenished. Yes you will lose weight if you eat less in a day than you need to but it’s NOT healthy. Calorie restriction and skipping meals may seem like the clear path to weight loss, and you may lose weight doing so, but your weight loss will be slow and frustrating. More importantly, you will lose valuable muscle mass and ultimately you are sure to regain the weight you have lost. Fuel your metabolism and nourish your body with high-quality, nutrient-dense foods to stop battling your weight and lose fat forever. Eating less does not create the need to burn body fat. What it really does is create the need for the body to slow down. The body hangs on to body fat, so instead, it burns muscle tissue.
Why does the body hang on to body fat and burn muscle? What does your metabolism want more of when it thinks we are starving? Stored energy.
What is a great source of stored energy? Body fat.
So when our metabolism thinks we are starving, does it want to get rid of or hold on to body fat? It wants to hold on.
What does our metabolism want less of when we are starving? It wants less tissue (which burns a lot of calories).
What type of tissue burns a lot of calories? Muscle tissue.
So when our metabolism thinks we are starving, it gets rid of calorie-hungry muscle tissue. I’ve done the research and found that 70% of the weight lost while eating less comes from burning muscle, not body fat. Burning all this muscle means that starving ourselves leads to more body fat, not less, overtime. As soon as we stop starving ourselves, we have all the calories we used to have but need less of them, thanks to all that missing muscle and our slowed-down metabolism. Now our metabolism sees eating a normal amount as overeating and creates new body fat.
Aside from a nutritional stand point, SLEEP IS VITAL TO YOUR HEALTH. Sleeping allows you to relax your muscles completely and allow them to restore and recover. This means your muscles are actually inactive, which is a great time for them to repair themselves from the damage you’ve done while working out. Also, those who don’t get less sleep than others are more likely to binge eat unhealthy food because they develop a bigger appetite (hormones that increase your appetite kick into gear and will likely make you eat more than you would if well-rested). In addition to this, you burn a few calories when you sleep (by not eating for 7-9 hours and those calories burned during sleep are used to sustain vital functions in the body). SO GET YOUR SLEEP AND REPLACE THOSE CALORIES WHEN YOU WAKE UP!!!
The point of this all is just to say that if you’re serious about losing weight, gaining muscle and toning, it is vital that you get serious about it ALL the way around and not just in the gym.