Battle Of The Bulge: Diet Versus Exercise

exercise healthy eating Jan 02, 2017

Flip through the channels late at night and you’re bound to come across paid-programming. You may see commercials for super sharp knives, fine jewelry, or some invincible maintenance spray. However, you will most certainly see advertisements for droves of weight loss programs. Some highlight fancy exercise equipment, while others suggest your body and 30 minutes is all you need, but the message is all the same, “Do this program. Lose your body fat.”

Let’s be honest, is 30 more minutes of exercise a week all you really need to have the body of your dreams? Picture the average American. According to the CDC, the average American male is overweight and heading toward obesity. Now, let’s put him on a deserted island. He’s got an endless supply of water with a limited amount of food. If we leave him on this island for one month, what do you think he’ll look like when we rescue him? He’ll probably be a bit dirty, smelly, and have a scraggly beard, but most importantly, he’s probably lost a fair amount of weight. Now, I know we’ve only just imagined this world for our castaway, but something tells me he wasn’t doing commercial fitness videos on his month-long hiatus. The truth of the matter is he wasn’t eating.

This is by no means a plug for starvation diets, which are dangerous and unhealthy, but a clue about weight loss, and more specifically, fat loss. There’s a new trend where personal trainers become fat to go through the process of getting fit again. Aside from being a couch potato for a few months, these trainers completely trash their eating habits by eating copious amounts of junk food. In the progression from fat to fit and back again, the biggest change for these trainers is their diet. It’s not genetics or the amount they hit the gym. It’s what they put into their mouths that controls their fat gain and fat loss. As much as we’d like to, we can’t walk, run, crunch, or lift away a bad diet. It’s redundant.

So why do we constantly see weight loss programs that herald bold new exercise routines, when exercise is only a small portion of the solution? The truth is it’s exclusive. It’s sellable. You can package it and sell it for a profit at minimal costs. “With three easy payments of $39.99, we’ll give you our exclusive nutrition guide for free!” A reasonable nutrition guide could be googled in minutes. The reality is, for most people, fat loss is a choice. It’s not whether or not you hit the gym four times a week, but whether or not you chose to eat the right foods for your body. It’s a simple discipline that’s hard to sell.

Let’s face it, every body is different. Eating properly for your body is a trial and error process - what works for you may not work for your sister, and that’s okay. One easy way to start eating for your body is to eat more vegetables. One trick is to play ROYGBV with your family. The game is simple: the first one to eat a natural-colored fruit or vegetable in each category scores a point for that day. See who’s the winner by the end of the week, and keep those payments of $39.99 in your pocket. 

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