Fall is a little bit like January in that people seem to feel the need to get back on track. Much like those New Year's weight loss resolutions after a season of indulgence, fall is the time to get back to our regular routines. Kids are back in school, weekends are dedicated to coaching or cheering on our littles and middles in their sport of choice and parents get back on track with their fitness. All positives for sure. And as we are now almost two months into fall, you should be seeing and feeling results. I mean, that workout should definitely be working for you, right?
I've been going to the same gym since 1986. You could definitely, and without insulting me, call me a gym rat. It's my thing. Having been a fixture there so long, I've met many people. I sometimes feel like Norm from the series “Cheers” where “everybody knows your name”. It's fun and inspiring to hear their stories, watch them train for competitions and achieve their weight loss pr weight gain goals. But it can also be heartbreaking. Over the years I've watched many show up day after day, week after week, even year after year who either can't seem to shed the weight, or lose it for a short time only to regain it, and more, later. Clearly their workout is not working for them.
So why are some people able to achieve their goals and maintain those results while others work hard, struggle and seemingly make no progress at all? I can tell you with full certainty it's not the workout which should be addressed but rather what you're working on (or not) in the kitchen. In fact almost 80 percent of our results around health and weight loss is determined by what and how we choose to fuel out bodies. The remaining 20 percent simply helps support, define and enhance those results. Making the shift to focus on food over fitness will provide your body with the fuel it needs to achieve and maintain your goals. Ultimately, permanent results are made in the kitchen and refined in the gym.
Right now I can just hear a good many of you out there saying, “This really doesn't apply to me. I workout hard and burn off so many calories that I can eat whatever I want and I don't really gain weight.”, and that may very well be the case. For now. But what happens when for some reason you're suddenly unable to continue exercising? When life happens, and it always does at some point (car accidents, sports injuries, job or lifestyle changes, health issues) that dated mentality of calories in/calories out is now reduced to calories in. Only. As you can imagine, when the sole tool used to lose, manage or maintain weight is no longer an option, pounds are quick to pack on around the middle.
Unlike losing our ability to exercise, eating is something we will always need to do in some way shape or form. Habits around food may change, preferences often change, portions may fluctuate but the reality is, eliminating food is not an option if we want to remain alive. And knowing that 80 percent of our weight loss and health results are determined by what and how we eat, getting our food right should be high on everyone's priority list. So what do we need to do to get it right?
Eating whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible in a way that stabilizes blood sugar, creates balance within the body. When our bodies are balanced internally (homeostasis), fat is released and can be burned to use as energy, metabolism is turned on, hormones are balanced, lean muscle can be built, cholesterol is reduced, blood pressure is reduced, blood sugar is decreased, energy is increased, moods stabilize, immune function improves, mental clarity and focus improves, sugar cravings disappear, risk for many lifestyle diseases is reduced, including things like Parkinson's dementia and Alzheimer's. Eating a balance of a protein, fat and carbohydrate within one hour of waking and every three hours throughout the day, will not only allow you to lose the bloat, extra weight and belly fat, you're setting yourself up to reap many, if not all, of those amazing benefits in the process. Who doesn't want that?
So whether you've been exercising like a fiend and not getting the results you're looking for, or are unable to exercise and are seeing results slowly slip away, putting food first will allow you to get and keep the results you're looking for.
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