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?