Diet vs Exercise: How to Match Your Intake to Your Activity

If you’ve ever researched fitness, you’ve probably heard that weight loss is 80-percent diet and 20-percent exercise. While it’s true that your diet has the greatest impact on your weight, it’s better to approach fitness with a 50/50 mindset. By placing equal emphasis on what you eat and how you live your life, you can adopt a lifestyle that is healthier in every way.

Diet and exercise should not be used to balance each other out. Some people fall into an unhealthy pattern of using exercise as a way to “burn off” bad foods; in other words, you shouldn’t run three miles just because you ate a whole pizza for dinner. By discovering the value and benefits of both a healthy diet and personalized fitness routine, you can lead a more balanced lifestyle.

Consider How Many Calories You Need

Your daily caloric intake correlates to your activity level. They say that the average adult male needs 2,500 calories a day, but what if he leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle working a desk job? Then, his needs might change. A man in his 20s who walks 3 to 4 miles a day will only need 2,800 calories, according to health.gov. A female of the same age and activity level needs 2,200.

These figures are much higher than many people who are on a diet consume, and it’s why so many tend to gain weight back quickly when they stop dieting and return to eating normally.

Living healthily requires a consistent fitness routine and corresponding meal plan that takes your activity level into account. If you want to lose weight, focus more on what you’re eating rather than how much. Cutting out processed foods, refined sugars, and artificial ingredients can drastically impact your life in a matter of weeks.

Staying Active

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults partake in at least 170 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week. When it comes to exercise, consistency is key, so rather than exercising for a few hours all at once, you should strive to move for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day.

Exercising heavily for only a few days a week is less effective overall. You don’t get enough time to build endurance, and you run the risk of heart strain and exhaustion by pushing your body too hard at one time.

The Bottom Line

Seeking out a fitness trainer who is certified to provide nutritional coaching, such as looking at programs like Plan 7 Coaching, will help you to see the results you desire. Figuring out the ins and outs of fitness is tough at first, but a professional can teach you the ropes. You will be looking and feeling your best before you know it.

Once you’ve learned why your coach has you do certain things while avoiding others, you can work on directing your own health plan. Make sure to continue to keep healthy habits. It’s easy to fall back on your old, unhealthy patterns. Continue to keep track of the food you eat, and maintain your regular workout routine.

The best part about getting serious about fitness is that what you learn is cumulative. The more you get to know your body, lifestyle and needs, the easier it becomes to make healthy choices. Look at your lifestyle. Are you more sedentary or more active? How do you spend your free time? Then decide on the best way to fuel your daily activities. Make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need, and add some exercise to your routine if it’s not already a part of it. If you’re having trouble figuring out what your body needs, talk to a health coach. Explain to them your fitness goals, and work with them on a health plan that will work for you.

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