Nutrition seems to be something that everyone overlooks when they look to lose weight or get into shape. They think that they can work out enough to burn enough calories to lose weight. In reality that is much harder to try and lose weight with just exercise alone. Studies show that you can lose up to four times more weight when you exercise and follow a diet then just exercise alone. This should be more than enough to convince people they have to pay attention to what they eat when they are looking to either lose weight or increase their fitness level. It is known that every 3,500 calories you consume that you do not burn off equals one pound of fat. Therefore, you have to burn off that much more than you can consume in order to burn a pound of fat. I am not say you should not work out. It is crucial for you to exercise in order to change the shape of your body or lose weight. I am just saying that the added tool of nutrition enables you to reach your goals much faster. You can not put on muscle, lose weight, or get in the best shape you can without the proper nutrition.
The key is you have to eat, and eat the right things depending on your goals. Everyone knows the guy who goes to the gym, works out like crazy, and wants to get big but weighs 130 pounds. In this case he is not eating in a way that would allow his body to do that. This guy needs to eat probably twice as many calories, and much more protein than he is to see the results he wants. Another case is the person who wants to lose weight and restricts their calorie intake down to almost nothing. At this point they are wondering why they are not losing any weight. It is common when people restrict their calories to that extreme and do not lose weight because their body goes into starvation mode. When this happens their body stores everything they eat as fat because it does not know when its going to eat again and is protecting itself. Another issue with weight loss is people think they can cut back on the amount they eat, but still eat whatever they want, and lose weight. This is also not the case. The food they should be eating should be nutrient dense and low in calories. If you wanted to change anything about your physique (weight loss, weight gain, strength) you really need to alter the foods you eat and it needs to be a lifestyle change. There is no point in going on a crazy diet where you drop 20 pounds in two months, but the second you get off of the diet you put all the weight back on. Your diet should be something you can do for the rest of your life. This is the only way you can have consistent improvement (in whatever your goals are) and maintain the gains you made. A healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. This is a rate that can be maintained for an extended period of time and is the result of lifestyle changes, not just crash dieting. Check out our nutrition section to get some ideas on what sort of guidelines you should be following to achieve your goals.
Exercise and nutrition are the best combination when looking to change the way you look. Without the nutrition your body does not have the fuel or tools it needs to make the changes you want. You can workout like you want to build muscle, or like you want to lose weight but without the proper nutrition neither will happen. So just take a minute and write down the foods you typically eat and see what changes you can make in order to get the results you want. As previously stated it does not mean remove calories from your diet, just making certain switches can be enough to do the trick.
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