So, you want to lose some weight. You’ve tried hitting the gym, taking cycling classes, doing push-ups, going for daily runs and everything you could possibly think of – but still, your belly fat still rolls like a turbulent ocean every time you try jumping. Why isn’t it working? Well, it’s simple – you’ve got your nutrition plan very wrong!
The impact of nutrition on your weight-loss program cannot be overemphasized. Perhaps you’ve met some people who approach you with a “smug” face and tell you – “it doesn’t matter what you eat, you just gotta work it off.” Such people believe that “hitting the gym” just about fixes everything. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, because nutrition and weight loss are practically inseparable.
Don’t get me wrong; exercises are great and they come with a plethora of benefits for your body’s general physiology. Such benefits include, better cardiovascular fitness, improved blood circulation, healthy muscles and bones, and enhanced metabolism, among others. But as good as exercising can be, it should only “accompany” good nutrition – that is of course, if you are actually serious about losing weight.
Come to think of it, haven’t you met people who are always looking slim, fresh and healthy without having gym bags or running shoes? The secret is not far-fetched – good nutrition! Although it is worthy of note that genetics also plays a very important role in this, because some folks naturally have the “fat” tendency running in their genome, while some others simply “can’t” get fat, no matter how hard they try! This is primarily due to the working of thyroid hormones, which play a huge role in determining the rate of body metabolism. Anyways, let’s leave the genetics jargon out of this!
What exactly is Good Nutrition?
Good nutrition has no single definition, but in simple terms, your nutrition is considered to be good, if it supplies your body all that it needs to function optimally, without overburdening your system with excesses. Simple enough? It means every meal you take should provide all the 5 food classes in the appropriate amounts.
Let’s think of it this way, if you don’t overeat, you won’t get fat, right? So, what is fat exactly? Well, fat is your body’s way of telling you that it is receiving “way too much” than it needs. Fats are stored in various adipose tissues in the body and when that storage begins to fill up, you begin to look plump and – well… fat! What this means is that your body takes what it needs out of every meal you take and instead of “wasting” the rest, it converts it and stores it, in case you need it in the future.
So, in essence, you get fat mainly because of poor feeding habits, not necessarily due to lack of exercises. Now, since the source of the problem is nutrition, then the best way of fixing it is also nutrition! In a nutshell, this is the link between nutrition and weight loss. Every meal we take has a unique caloric content (amount of energy it supplies) and some seemingly innocent foods like peanut butter (yummy!), cheese and high-sugar ice cream all have high caloric values that will eventually get you fat, when taken in excessive or addictive quantities.
What Do I Do Now?
- Stick to low calorie foods: Get in touch with your dietician for suitable low calorie diets for your weight loss program or use Food Guide Pyramid to plan your meals and monitor your eating habits. Consistency is the key to success.
- Take enough fibre: Stick to daily fibre intake of 25-30 g
- Reduce calorie intake: Stick to calorie consumption of less than 1500 kcal per day
- Take lots of water: Drink 8-10 Oz per day.
- Exercise regularly: Exercises produce better results when your diet is right.
On a Final Note…
You are what you eat! Irrespective of the specific approach you may be planning for your weight loss program, if it does not take nutrition into consideration, then you might as well forget about it altogether, because it’s not going to work! So, if you’re serious about losing some weight, then you need to start paying a very close attention to your diet – nutrition is the key!