JUST FOR THE HEALTH OF IT: Are you on the right track to being fit?

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First Posted: 7/1/2013

When it comes to changing the look of your body there are two major things you can do:

1. Lose fat.

2. Build muscle.

The problem occurs when people get nutrition confused with exercise when attempting to lose body fat. First, you cannot out-train a bad diet. In other words, you can’t do more exercise to make up for lackluster eating habits. It sounds logical, but your body just doesn’t work that way.

Take a look at people slaving away on treadmills and other aerobic machines day in and day out. Sadly, most of these people hardly every change their body composition. While they may lose some body weight, they rarely change the ratio of muscle to fat. Increasing muscle tissue and decreasing body fat is necessary to beat the battle of the bulge and successfully keep that fat off your body.

Problem: Most people who spend lots of time doing “cardio” exercise have a tendency to drastically slash calories, hoping to shed body fat quickly. What happens is that your body tends to conserve weight during times of increased activity and reduced calorie consumption.

Solution: Rather than spending time exercising, invest your time doing the right type of training. You must use weight training to build muscle mass, which will increase metabolism long term. You must also exercise consistently because we all know that a random approach will never work.

Do not starve yourself. The body may shut down its metabolism and it becomes extremely efficient in saving/storing energy. Eat nutritious meals spaced evenly throughout the day to maintain the metabolism and provide energy for exercise. Reduce any unnecessary food intake.

Unnecessary food intake is one of the leading causes of weight gain. Grazing throughout the day seems like the intelligent approach to keeping hunger pangs at bay, but this often leads to under-eating or over-eating and you may also be likely to fail at taking in adequate nutrients.

Be honest. Are you truly hungry when you eat? Are you just thirsty, bored, stressed? Can you decrease your food intake without your health suffering? Try to reduce calories with your health in mind by reducing the foods with least nutritional value (i.e. processed foods, sugary drinks, excess sauces, and sugar).

In order to simplify things, look at it this way:

1.Use exercise for muscle building. Weight training has a long-term effect in changing your body and changing your metabolism.

2.Use nutrition for fat loss. Eliminating junk foods leaves only room for healthy, nutritious foods that properly fuel your body.