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You Can’t Exercise Your Way Out of a Bad Diet

Believe it or not, most people believe that if they exercise on a regular basis, that they don’t need to worry about counting calories and that that they should also expect to see an ever improving reflection in the mirror. Unfortunately, while these beliefs may be widely held, they are simply untrue.

If you go to a gym or exercise class on a regular basis, take a moment and really look around at the various people. While it’s disheartening to discover, what you’ll see is that most people aren’t changing or transforming their bodies. While it obviously does happen, for the majority of people, they experience very little change. In fact, if you have ever felt yourself feeling this way, don’t feel bad, you are not alone. So, what the heck is going on? It’s simple, it’s a wide held belief that we can exercise our way out of a bad eating habits. Thus, if we work out every day, we can eat what we want. And, while this may be true in terms of maintaining your body, it’s absolutely not true in terms of what it takes to change it.

Think about it, if you are someone that works out on a regular basis, you know that you can have that extra treat or snack and take care of the calories when you go to the gym. So, that’s exactly the trap that most people fall into. Instead of focusing on cleaning up their diet and changing their physique, they eat a little bit more and try and make up for it at the gym. And, to make matters worse, working out increases ones appetite. So, people aren’t just battling the issue of enjoying a few extra bites because they have earned them, they are also battling the issue of being hungrier. And, if you think that’s a bad scenario, it only gets worse.

As you can imagine, one of the most common complaints that you hear from people at the gym is that they are working out really hard every day, but not seeing any changes in their body. Thus, they stop doing what they were doing and switch to a new exercise program. Then, after getting the exact same results, they get frustrated and quite or continue to bounce from one exercise fad to another – eternally seeking the holy grail of exercise programs. However, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, they held the power all along. That is, the solution was not to exercise their way out of a bad diet, but to clean up their diet and reap the rewards of a better looking body.

According to the National Institutes of Health, increasing your physical activity is not significantly more effective for weight loss than dieting alone. While it may be a widely held belief that you can exercise your way into a better body, the truth is that it requires the combination of exercise and diet. While this may seem obvious, it’s amazing how many people think they can take an extra spin class or spend additional time on the treadmill to make up for their extra bites during the day or nightly bowl of ice cream.Of course, it should also be stated that although dieting is the most important aspect for losing weight, exercise plays a critical role in ensuring that people maintain their goal weight. The National Institutes of Health reports that regular physical activity is most important to preventing weight regain, and the American Dietetic Association goes further, stating that physical activity is crucial to prevent weight regain.

So, what is the solution for getting off the endless treadmill of working out and not seeing results? It’s simple; view your time at the gym as your vehicle for shaping and creating the body that you want. However, view your time away from the gym as equally important. Remember, abs aren’t made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen. So, always be conscious of what it is you are eating and never stop asking yourself the following question: Are the foods that you are eating throughout the day taking you one step closer to the new you or one step away?

Are you ready to let go of the past?

Portrait of mature woman sitting in countrysideIn order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you must learn to identify the issues that are preventing you from achieving success. As you can imagine, they are different for each of us, but often include things like:

– An inability to stop snacking or eating foods that aren’t good for you.
– A desire to eat when you are stressed or bored.
– Difficulty staying motivated or sticking with a weight loss plan.
– Dreading exercise and not wanting to move your body.

While it’s not easy, take some time and think of the issues that you’ve been facing. Then, think about how you can change your perspective and start taking action. For example:

– Remove the unhealthy foods and temptations from my house.
– Tell yourself that you are going to stop using food for comfort.
– Start moving your body and consider it a gift you can give yourself.
– Start now and forget about the past.

Never forget that change is exciting. This is your moment in time to shine. To lose weight, learn to manage your issues, and change from the inside out.


Learn to Be Happy and Lose Weight

People ask me all the time about the secret to losing weight and changing your body and my answer is always the same. That is – you need to learn to take back your life and be happy.

Obviously, following the right weight loss program and exercising makes all the difference, but learning to be happy is equally important. When I think back on the time in my life that my weight was the heaviest, it was also the saddest time of my life. Due to various reasons, I had allowed sadness and self-loathing to creep into my life and overeating to become my salvation. Not surprisingly, this was a slippery slope. The more I ate, the heavier I got, and the unhappier I become.

So, what’s a person to do? In short, I had to take back my life and be happy.

It was obvious that I needed to lose weight, but unlike the many times I had attempted to lose weight in the past, I decided to make my happiness part of the equation. So, I didn’t just start dieting and exercising, I also started doing the following two very important things:

I Become Optimistic. I started talking to myself and motivating myself to take action. Instead of allowing the world to beat me down, I’d talk to myself and motivate myself by saying things like, “Now’s the time for me to change.” Or, “Every day that I can step forward and change, I’m one step closer to creating a better version of myself.” I decided to stop viewing dieting and exercise as a negative and view it as the gateway to being happier. As a result, losing weight and exercising took on new meaning. It was no longer a negative in my life, but for the first time, I was a positive!

I Created a Goal: Whether it’s planning a vacation, family reunion, or just putting a date on the calendar. I gave myself a goal and something to look forward to. I allowed myself to believe that although I wasn’t happy with my body and I was obviously sad, the more I worked toward my goal, the more my life would change. The goal gave me something to look forward, but more importantly, it allowed me to put in the time and achieve success. And, the more time I put into changing my body and mind, the happier I became.

Making these two simple changes, I was able to turn my self-loathing and depression into the biggest life changing period of my life. By learning to be happy and optimistic, I stopped my social hibernating, began getting excited about life, and shockingly – I lost weight!

I began going out with friends and looking forward to events. I stopped eating alone at night, began making healthier choices, and took on a different attitude towards dieting and exercise. The more I put my happiness first and removed the cloud despair, the lighter I became physically and emotionally.
Each positive change that you make in your life will lead to another. So, start small by doing the following:

– Give yourself something to look forward to.
– Tell yourself what you are grateful for.
– Become optimistic with your thoughts.
– Take a walk or find a way to move your body that is fun.
– Eat healthy and stick to a weight loss program that allows you to achieve results.

The more you put your happiness first, the more you’ll want to change your. Dieting and exercise will no longer be a chore, but something that you’ll see as allowing you to take back your life and live it to the fullest. Not surprisingly, the people that put their happiness first and allow it to be their guide towards losing weight and exercise not only achieve the greatest results, but also go on to make bigger and bigger changes in their lives.

Be happy, lose weight and go forth and conquer!

– Hamilton

I Invite You to Take Your Life Back

My name is Hamilton Erridge and I want to welcome you to So Damn Hungry and invite you to take your life back.

It’s my goal to not only share my incredible journey overcoming my own emotional eating issues, but to help you follow in my footsteps and get past the destructive food behaviors that are stopping you from living your life to the fullest. [click to continue…]


When I reflect back on my life between where I started and where I am now, I cannot help but think about how the various parts of my journey have felt like mini chapters in my life. When I started, I was lost and out of control and needed a program to follow – something that would allow me to stay focused and begin the process of taking back my life. While I thought my journey was solely about losing weight, I soon realized it was much more.  In fact, the more weight I lost, the more I realized how many issues I truly had. While reaching my goal weight was great, I knew all too well that the real work was still ahead. [click to continue…]

Take Back Your Life and Stop Being So Damn Hungry