Anyone who has ever tried to get in shape or lose weight knows that you need fitness and nutrition to hit your goals. However, fitness and nutrition aren’t equal parts of the equation. We’ve all seen those people at the gym who are there every day (either that or they are stalking your gym schedule) and never seem to lose a pound. The answer? They aren’t doing anything about their diet – or at least, they aren’t doing enough. If you want to reach your fitness goals more quickly and easily, focus first and foremost on what goes into your body. Of course, I’m not saying to disregard exercise. Anyone who knows me can attest that even a week of inactivity breeds a very different ‘me’. What I am saying is that you have far more opportunities to make smart eating decisions than you do to hit the gym. When you break it down, it’s actually about 80% nutrition and 20% fitness.
I was skeptical at first too, but it makes sense. Most regimes advocate exercising 3-5 times per week. Most people eat a minimum of 3-4 meals per day, or 28 meals per week. 5 workouts vs 28 eating opportunities = about 15% fitness, and 85% nutrition.
You can run a bunch of different calculations and it usually comes out somewhere around 80:20. If you keep this in mind, and tackle your eating habits with the same devotion as you give to your workouts, you’ll see a noticeable difference even on weeks where your activity slows. Since I’m still somewhat injured (effing knee!), I’ve been doing 4 work outs per week – down from my usual 6 plus biking, and every other active thing that came my way. During this time, I recommitted myself towards a healthy lifestyle – pre-planning meals, making healthy snacks, and getting on a good regimen. I have since maintained muscle, lost fat, increased my energy levels and fit back into clothes that I wore in high school. Not that I don’t fall off the rails every once in a while and eat an entire bag full of different Lindt chocolate bars, because believe me, I do.. but it’s a numbers game – so fall off and get right back on.
I hope this is helpful – I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on healthy eating and hitting your goals.