Otherwise you could be adding “hidden” pounds year after year. It’s all common sense.
*I love how I can’t believe it’s not butter is the ad in front of the health videos.
Healthy eating is more important than exercising. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Don’t get me wrong, I value exercise and do it at least six days a week. Exercise is essential to overall health and one should take the time to workout. But, I know that I’ll never reach my health goals if I eat unhealthily. I’m no doctor, nor a nutritionist, but even I, a laymen, know the difference between bad and good food: broccoli is better for you than a donut. We can all decipher that. But what choice will we make when presented with that option?
It was harder for me to turn around my eating habits than to start exercising regularly. There were a few things that helped create different eating habits in me. One thing that helped me was to just do it. No matter how much I didn’t like eating healthily I did it. I told my brain to shut up. I told my taste buds to take a hike. I basically forced myself to eat in a healthy way, and over time I started to crave those types of food more and more, and shun the unhealthy options. I remember when I tried beer for the first time. DAMN that stuff was terrible! But everyone drank it so I kept drinking it. Eventually, I liked it. I even enjoy the taste of certain beers, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. You can do the same thing with food too. Don’t like something? Just keep eating it. There’s an article about that from Real Age. Now when I eat the junk food, my body doesn’t always feel so hot afterward.
Another thing that helped me was to be aware of my food intake: conscious eating. I thought about food constantly, what will I have for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner? There are plenty of unhealthy snacks offered at work. It’s so easy to blindly, walk to the kitchen and just start munching away with no real thought about what you’re eating. Why you’re eating. Or if you’re even hungry. There goes a few hundred calories. I always tell myself think before you eat. One tip that I’ve learned is that if you’re between meals, you think you’re hungry, go ahead and drink some water instead. This helps because you may not have been hungry in the first place, and the water will satiate you until you’re actually hungry. Again, two articles from Real Age that talk about water in particular: Drink Water to Lose Weight and 3 Liquids That Help Halt Hunger.
The third thing that helped me were results. Physical changes in myself just by eating differently, no exercising. A few years ago when I was at my heaviest of 185 lbs (83.91 kg), I had a friend tell me that I looked fat. That spurred action because I agreed with him. Though ignorant action, nonetheless action. I started the Special K challenge (by the way, I don’t recommend or endorse any diet). In this diet you replace two meals a day with Special K cereal. (To my knowledge, at the time I did this Kellogg’s hadn’t created the whole line of Special K food, it was just cereal). Now I’m not sure if I followed the exact serving size, but I probably wasn’t eating more than 200-250 calories per cereal meal. My third meal probably didn’t exceed 1000 calories so that’s roughly 1400-1500 calories in a day. Even without exercise I lost weight, significant weight. In about 2-3 months time I lost 20 lbs. (I honestly don’t know the time frame on the 20 lbs lost, but it was a fast turn around.) I now weighed 165 lbs, which is the weight I stayed at until I started P90X. 20lbs lost just by changing my eating habits, that’s pretty amazing!
Eating healthy took a down turn for me around August and September of 2010 after I broke my hand playing basketball. Though, I didn’t totally start eating like crap, the frequency of which I ate crap moved from 1-2 times per month to 1-2 times per week. During this time period it was important for me to eat healthily because I couldn’t exercise with my broken hand. Jumping up and down even bothered it. (I’m sure there are lighter things I could have done, but I did nothing.) So in this absence of exercise if I had not eaten healthily the 5-6 times a week I probably would have started to gain unhealthy weight; instead I gained nothing and maintained my 147 lbs (66.67 kg) at the time.
Being mentally focused about your food intake in times where exercise is impossible is important to, at least, maintaining your current weight. Without exercise, healthy eating habits can help you lose weight (where as bad habits will have you gaining weight.) These two reasons are why I think healthy eating is more important than exercise, because if you can’t exercise (or don’t) then how else will you stay healthy?
Wow this post is a lot longer than I thought it would be. And now here’s more!
Go check out the website Forks Over Knives for showtimes. The movie releases on June 17th or 24th, depending on your area.
Am I working out for the right reasons? I hope so. Otherwise there will be a day that comes where I don’t care about the “wrong” reasons anymore and I stop. The right reasons for me are to be as healthy as I can every day. Each day is a new day with new challenges and TODAY I am working on being my healthiest and overcoming life’s little obstacles. I want for myself, to always be in the best shape that I can (mental ability, physical speed, strength, agility, endurance). God willing these healthy choices I’m making today help me live a long life where I enjoy my family and friends and am not hindered by diseases or physical impairments in old age.
This is why I live a healthy life today. So I can enjoy life tomorrow.
Here’s a passage from an interview with Tony Horton that I find fitting:
First things first, you need to ask yourself if you are ready to make a change in your life and commit to it. Horton said hopping on the Stairmaster for 20 minutes three times a week is a start, and better than nothing, but is not going to give you the level of fitness essential for a healthy life. Why are you making this change? Horton said if it is just to be thinner, you need to reevaluate yourself.
“Get away from the whole aesthetics factor. It shouldn’t be about eating foods that will help you be smaller later. It doesn’t matter how small you are—the fitness is what matters,” he said. Instead, Horton said to concentrate on all the other benefits of exercise, and if you lose a few pounds in the process—that’s a bonus.
“If I exercise today and eat well, I turn back the clock. Cells will grow stronger, my immune system will function better and improve my quality of life. Memory will improve, I will have less stress and feel better,” he added.
I hope your reasons keep you exercising for the long haul.
Just take your workout schedule and nutrition One Day at a Time. All you have to do is workout today. Just TODAY. All you have to do is eat healthily and thoughtfully TODAY. That’s it, it’s so simple. There is nothing else that matters except the workout and your eating habits TODAY.
Don’t worry about what you did or didn’t do yesterday, and don’t worry about what you’ll have to do tomorrow. Yesterday is gone, and can’t be changed. Tomorrow isn’t even here, so the future is uncertain. Today has enough worries for itself, there’s no need to have added stress about what has happened or what might happen.
Say you’re on day 20 of a 90 day workout schedule. Don’t stress over the 70 MORE days you have to go because, guess what … you have the rest of your life to go! That 70 days is a drop in the bucket compared to how many more days you could have in the rest of your life. Besides, you still have day 20’s workout to do, and you need to focus on that. Day 20 is here day 1045 is really far away, and day 20 needs your full attention.
Today is the only day that you can do something about your health and well being. So take that step, and let the change you make in your life happen TODAY!
Ironically there’s an ad for “I Can’t Believe it’s not Butter” before the Today Show clip of Joy Bauer talking about fortified food: Don’t be fooled by fortified foods . I think it’s funny because there’s a version of 7up that’s fortified with … whatever, it doesn’t matter. You should probably think about your drinking habits if you’re having any soda on a regular basis, fortified or not. Especially if that habitual use of soda is more than once a day.
Don’t be bamboozled!