Physical exertion has tons of health benefits; it promotes weight loss, decreases the risks of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. However, it is imperative to consume a healthy diet. When you are on your weight loss journey, it gets difficult to decide between a healthy diet and exercise, although ideally, these two should always go hand in hand.
The problem arises when you know that you’re training hard but are unable to see a big difference when you climb on the scale. You start to think that exercise is a waste of time and feel bad for the gym membership you paid for, without realizing that the problem lies in your diet.
Here are five reasons why you can’t shed pounds no matter how much you sweat it out in the gym, without eating the right foods:
1. You need to create a balance
It is a fundamental scientific concept that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. It may sound easy, but it isn’t. Firstly because most people overestimate the number of calories they’ve burnt. You may feel like you’ve done a lot of hard work and choose to treat yourself with a bagel- those are 245 calories in excess. In an attempt to reward yourself, you may not realize that you are wasting the efforts done in the gym.
2. Burning calories via exercise is tougher than it sounds
Theoretically, it may seem possible, but practically it takes intense workout sessions to melt a few calories. About 2 hours of cycling equates to 500 burnt calories, yes that’s about two bagels. So to shed a single pound, you would have to train like an athlete, and that is a tough task. Whereas controlling your cravings requires less effort and thus you can see results rapidly once you manage your diet.
Recent studies have also revealed that exercise has little effect on weight loss without a healthy diet. If you consume a lot of sugar, it will get stored as fat whereas healthy foods can boost metabolism and activate fat-burning hormones. It indicates that what you eat plays a primary role in improving your gym performance.
3. An unhealthy diet causes lack of nourishment
Some people can’t find the strength to exercise; they even try pre-workout supplements to boost energy levels but still don’t feel the power. It is the nutrient deficiency that makes them tired and fatigued. Processed foods lack essential nutrients and contain synthetic minerals that don’t benefit our health. Your diet needs to have the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fatty acids, and protein to keep you energetic and active. Eating whole foods is the only way to provide your body the fuel it needs.
4. Consuming too much fat can make you lethargic
High- fat meals make you sluggish, and sleepy. Even if you wish to hit the gym, you will feel like sleeping all day and will end up gaining weight. Eating foods such as leafy greens, walnuts, salmon, eggs, and beans boosts your metabolism and activates alertness.
5. You may get injured
A poor diet can increase the risk of injuries. If your body is deficient in vitamins C, E, and minerals like calcium, iron, you may be at high risk of fractures. The recovery period will also take longer, and you won’t be able to work out for quite some time. So it is crucial to ensure that your meals are based on whole foods and contain the optimal combination of nutrients. Of course, exercise is equally essential, don’t solely rely on any one of the two if you want to optimize your health and lose weight.