Monday, September 10, 2012

70% Diet, 30% Exercise

"You only work out 3 days a week? 
How are you losing so many inches?"

I've been getting that question a lot lately and the answer is simple: diet. Not diet as in eat as little as possible or torture yourself with foods you hate, but diet as in being aware of what goes in my belly.

When i first started my journey in January, my ratio was more like 100% exercise, 0% diet. I worked out 6 times a week but continued to eat the same way, though I did throw in the occasional salad here and there. 3 months in, I felt stronger but I looked relatively the same and I even gained a little weight!

MISCONCEPTION #1: As long as I do massive amounts of exercise, I can continue to eat the same way. For me, this was bubbletea 4 days a week, burgers, fries, deep fried anything, cheesy anything, bacon this and that, whenever i wanted.... which was usually every day!

TRUTH: Though I was getting stronger and gaining muscle, the fat covering the muscle remained the same because of the way I ate.

MISCONCEPTION #2: "Muscle weighs more than fat! That's why i'm gaining weight.... yes." I used this as justification for why i gained a little bit of weight and why i still looked relatively the same.

TRUTH: 1 lb of muscle weighs the same as 1 lb of fat, a pound is a pound. The difference between the two is that they look very different. 1 lb of fat takes up wayyy more space than 1 lb of muscle.

As soon as I realized I was focusing my efforts in the wrong area, my body started changing, inches started disappearing, and lbs started to drop, all while continuing to get stronger.  Don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoy eating, I have dessert every day and can eat most of what I like... the only difference is, it's now within guidelines and I'm much more aware of what and how much i'm feeding myself.

In summary, focus your efforts in the right area and you'll definitely start seeing the changes you're looking for!

There is not one secret magic diet that will work for everyone - do your research, read the labels, and use common sense. Eating mac and cheese for breakfast every day probably isn't going to do you much good - i know because i did this last Christmas. *cheesy burp*