If you really want to be successful in living a healthy lifestyle you need to tackle your nutrition as well as your fitness. Both are necessary.
Weight loss: It is more difficult to burn calories than it is to consume them. Meaning: it may take you an hour in the gym to burn 400 calories but it may only take you 10 minutes to eat 400 calories (or less depending on what you are eating or drinking).
If you really want to lose weight you have to decrease your overall caloric input. This begins at the grocery store. I always say: if you put the food in your grocery cart you are giving yourself permission to eat it. I love Double Stuff Oreos. I can eat 10-12 in one sitting easy! I have very little control when I am around Double Stuff Oreos; therefore I do not buy Double Stuff Oreos. On the rare occasion that I do – I have just given myself full permission to eat the entire package. I rarely give myself this permission. One Double Stuff Oreo is 75 calories. Ten of them is 750 calories. That is two hours worth of exercise for me…..definitely not worth it. Don’t put stuff in your grocery cart that is going to sabotage your healthy lifestyle.
Same thing with your dinner plate – if you give yourself an extra big helping of mashed potatoes – you are going to eat an extra big helping of mashed potatoes. Put proper portions on your plate. And make those portions contain healthy food.
Fitness: if you want to be able to breath after going up a flight of stairs or play with your kids/grand kids or walk in a Fight Cancer 5K fun walk; then you need to exercise. If you want to have a healthy heart, good muscle tone, good cardiovascular endurance; you need to incorporate activity into your day. Not only will you look better, you will feel better. And you will burn extra calories to boot! You might also care more about what you put into your body if you see that your body is capable of exercise.
But make no mistake – you can spend an hour in the gym everyday – burning 400 calories a workout and not lose weight. You will most likely gain fitness, which is great, but if you don’t couple this physical activity with a decreased and healthy caloric intake you will most likely not lose any weight – you might even gain weight. The opposite is also true – if you decrease your caloric intake without adding some additional activity you very well may lose weight but you will not gain fitness.
These two things feed off of each other. When you eat healthy food in proper portions you feel good and you feel like exercising/being active. When you exercise you feel good and usually want to feed your body good, healthy food which makes you feel good and want to be active.