Too often, we say to ourselves, The diet starts Monday. In the meantime, we allow ourselves to indulge and eat whatever we want without thinking twice.
Sometimes, we say, I’m starting back at the gym on Monday. And while we are waiting for Monday to roll around, we tend to avoid extra activity as much as possible. After all, we are saving our energy for the gym on Monday.
Very few times, our Monday plans include both the diet and the gym. For some reason, our minds like to think of diet and exercise as two separate challenges; tackling each one independent of the other. The truth is, while weight loss can certainly be achieved with either diet or exercise, healthy weight loss is much more attainable and manageable when diet and exercise are addressed together. Healthy lifestyles are an example of diet and exercise working better together.
Can fitness be achieved without healthy nutrition? Technically, the answer is yes. Fitness levels in a sedentary individual will certainly increase when he/she starts exercising. However, there is a definite correlation between the level of fitness achieved and the type of nutrition provided. Whether you are a casual exerciser or an elite athlete, your fitness levels have the potential to improve greatly if you fuel your body with the right types of nutrients.
Our bodies are amazing. Our bodies are meant to move. In order to move, our bodies need energy; and this energy comes from the food we eat. Whenever food that is converted into energy does not get used, it is then stored and conserved in case we need this energy later.
Some foods are better used as energy than other foods. For example, carbohydrates are most beneficial in providing the body energy that is necessary to perform moderate to vigorous activity. The carbohydrates are broken down into glycogen and stored in our muscles for use during activities such as exercise. Simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) and complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains) are both beneficial for fueling and re-fueling the body for and after activity. It is important, however, to include more complex carbohydrates over the simple sugars for better health.
Because carbohydrates are found in so many different types of foods, healthy and not-so-healthy, most dieters will restrict carbohydrate intake. This can be dangerous, because the more restrictive a diet is on carbohydrates, the less stored energy (glycogen) will be readily available. This will, eventually, cause the dieter to feel sluggish leading to lower activity levels. With these restricted carbohydrate diets, it becomes difficult to exercise, and therefore, increased fitness levels are not likely to be achieved.
Protein in an exerciser’s diet is essential to rebuilding muscles that have been stressed during activity. The leaner the protein (i.e. white-meat poultry, fish), the less saturated fat. This combination will help build a more fit body.
Exercise and weight-loss
When we take losing weight into consideration, we pose the question; can weight loss occur with exercise alone, with no nutritional changes to one’s diet? The answer, again, is yes. When dealing with strictly weight loss, it is calories consumed versus calories expended. If one was to burn more calories in a day than he/she ate, then weight loss would occur. This is no simple task, however. Unfortunately, it is way too easy it is to eat 300 calories and much harder to burn just as many and more.
Can good nutrition be achieved without fitness? Yes, of course it can. After all, it does not take a fit body in order to eat a healthy diet. But, have you ever noticed how often it is the fit people that tend to eat healthier? This could be that in order to have a fit body, good nutrition is helpful, however, there seems to be something that happens in our brains when we make fitness a priority. There is a sudden desire to want to eat more healthful foods and stay away from the junk. Perhaps, this phenomenon is simply because we know how hard we have physically worked to achieve a fit body, that we are less willing to fill it with empty, non-nutritious calories. Or maybe it’s more. Maybe it’s the fact that trying to have good nutrition without fitness or fitness without good nutrition, while achievable, is just too inefficient for our world.
Then we look at weight-loss again. The question being; can one lose weight with only dietary changes and without exercise? Yes. It can be done, and it has been done for years. We all want quick results and the fact is, the more you restrict your caloric intake, the faster you will lose weight. However, if you attempt to exercise along with your diet, you will quickly learn that a diet too calorie-restrictive will make your exercise attempts futile. The lower the calories means the lower the energy you need to exercise. While quicker weight loss may seem tempting, dieting without exercise is simply not ideal when working toward a healthier body. Doing this will cause a decrease in lean-body mass (muscle), which can eventually lead to weaker bones and bodies that are more prone to injury. And more often than not, once the weight is lost, if an exercise routine has not been established, dieters find themselves re-gaining the weight and more. Studies have proven time and time again that regular exercise is key in maintaining weight.
The conclusion is simple; fitness and nutrition are better achieved together. While improvements in one’s fitness can occur without healthy change in nutrition, the effects may be minimal. A healthy diet can be attained without fitness, but there may be a strong draw toward healthier eating by those who value their fitness.
Therefore, we once again prove, on the road to health and fitness, we’re better together.
We’re Better Together Goal for March and April:
On the days that you exercise, make a concerted effort to eat healthfully before and after your workout. Note how eating better affects your exercise performance as well as your mood, productivity, and energy the rest of your day.
True or False about Diet and Exercise
True or False?
1) It is best to not eat prior to exercising, because you will burn more calories from your fat stores rather than burning what you just ate.
False. If you eat one to two hours before exercise, you will be giving your body the energy it needs to work out. The energy may allow for a more intense workout therefore burning a greater amount of calories overall.
2) Protein will give me the greatest amount of energy for a workout.
False. Protein is best when eaten after a workout to refuel and repair muscles. It is carbohydrates that break down into glycogen (fuel for your muscles) and are the most important prior to a workout. Protein and carbohydrates combined make the idea post-workout snack/meal.
3) In order to lose one-pound a week, there has to be a caloric deficit of 500 calories a day.
True. There are 3500 calories in one-pound of fat. Over one week, a person must attain a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. This can be done either by burning 500 calories a day or by cutting back 500 calories a day from food consumption. Or, for the best results, combine the exercise with calorie restriction.
4) If I’m not hungry after working out, I should wait until I am really hungry to eat. This will help me burn more calories throughout the day.
False. Ideally, one should eat no later than 90 minutes after completing a workout. Doing this will help to replenish your body with necessary nutrients to help you stay healthy. Eating within 90 minutes post-workout will also help you control your appetite throughout the day. The longer you wait to eat, the hungrier you will be; which may lead the overconsumption of calories by the end of the day.
5) When I have had a good workout, I like to indulge in a treat such as a brownie, cookie, or glass of wine. I can do this and still lose weight.
True. Remember, as long as at the end of the day, you have expended more calories than consumed, you will lose weight. Keep in mind that moderation is important. Also, use your creativity to come up with alternate, healthy ways to treat yourself that will help keep you focused on your ultimate goal.
Recipe by: Ellie Krieger, Registered Dietician and Food Network Chef
Saucy Salmon recipe
Serve this salmon along side a 1/2 cup serving of whole wheat couscous or brown rice and you’ve got yourself a nutrient-packed post-exercise meal!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, juice included
- 1 (12-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2 dried whole red chile peppers
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, washed well and dried, tough center stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft and golden, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, red peppers, chili peppers, cumin, coriander and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil , then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat, and remove chile peppers.
Place Swiss chard on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish . Season fish fillets with remaining salt and pepper and place in on top of chard. Cover with sauce and bake, covered, until fish is just cooked and chard is wilted, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
(1 serving equals 1 fillet, 3/4 cup chard and sauce)
Calories 370; Total Fat 15 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 6 g, Poly Fat 5 g) ; Protein 38 g; Carb 20 g; Fiber 4 g; Cholesterol 94 mg; Sodium 700 mg
Excellent source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium
Good source of: Fiber, Folate, Manganese
Julie Thompson – March
Julie started at BodyBasics as a member of the Road to Wellness Class. Julie has since completed the class and has moved on to be a much loved and admired member of the 7 am group class. Julie has the most amazing attitude. In spite of the pain in her knees, she gives each workout her full effort. Her mantra is, â€œI can do anything for an hour!â€ Her stamina and the quality of her movement have improved. She no longer needs many of the modifications to the exercises and she lets her coaches know it!
Julie, we appreciate you and your continued efforts toward a healthier lifestyle. Congratulations on being selected BodyBasics Client of the Month. Julie, we are so proud of you!
Chris, Kathleen, Mike D., Mike H., Maureen, Nick, Becky and Terry
Marge Furash – April
Marge has been a wonderful example of the healthy lifestyle for many years. She has overcome many health challenges and credits her workouts with literally saving her life. As a former aerobics instructor, Marge has seen eating and exercise fads come and go and her experience has taught her moderation. Marge works out several times a week in group classes and one on one sessions with Chris. She eats a well balanced diet and knows how to successfully fold in the occasional treat to her healthy lifestyle.
Marge is amazingly strong and encourages her classmates to be the best they can be. BodyBasics just wouldn’t be the same without you, Marge!
Congratulations on being selected BodyBasics client of the month!
Chris, Mike D., Mike H., Terry, Maureen, Nick and Becky
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!