As a fitness trainer, I often hear people say that they are working out consistently but not seeing any weight loss results. The truth is losing weight doesn’t happen with exercise alone. A good diet is just as important, if not more, when it comes to shedding pounds and looking lean.
Here are a few reasons why diet plays such a critical role in weight loss:
Eat less than you burn. It’s far easier to skip that can of soda and cookie and save several hundred calories than it is to try and burn it off through exercise. In my experience, we cannot exercise enough to be able to train away a bad diet.
So much so-called “food” is chock full of calories but lacking in nutrient value. Without a good diet, you may eat lots of calories, but still be malnourished from a lack of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients gained from plants and other whole foods. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats provides the nutrients your body needs to feel satisfied, therefore delivering more nutrition with less calories.
Finally, eating habits play a huge role in weight loss success. For example, large portions or indulging in high-calorie, high-fat foods makes it impossible to lose weight even with regular exercise. Exercise alone is not the weight loss answer. Couple it with a diet focused on whole, nutrient-dense food—think lots of vegetables!
75-80% of weight loss comes down to your diet!
So, pay attention to:
Healthy diets should include the right balance of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Each of these plays a critical role in your body’s functions, with a weight loss-based diet typically including a higher percentage of protein and a lower amount of carbohydrates, although this may vary according to your body’s chemistry. Monitor macronutrients and adjust as necessary. General rule is when carbs go down, fat and protein must then go up. For some the inverse works better: higher carbs and protein but lower amount of fat.
Your diet should also focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to stay healthy. This means plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.
Finally, portion control is key to creating a calorie deficit and losing weight. This doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself, but rather being mindful of it. For example, using smaller plates, measuring your food, and tracking your calorie intake can all help you control your portions and stay on track with your weight loss goals.
If you’re looking to lose weight and get in shape, it’s important to remember that exercise alone won’t get you there. A good diet plan is essential for creating a calorie deficit, providing the necessary nutrients for our bodies to function properly, and establishing healthy eating habits to support weight loss goals. By combining exercise and healthy eating, you WILL achieve your fitness goals and live a healthier, happier life!