“It’s ok I trained today, so I will eat that cake.” 

I have been working hard so I deserve that ice cream.” 

“I will have that packet of twisties and burn it off later.” 

The reality is, that side of fries with dinner would take 30 minutes of running on the treadmill. Let alone that steak, glass of wine, dessert, entrée and complimentary bread (with butter). Better start running now. 

A recent meta-analysis study looked at the effectiveness of exercise on treating metabolic syndrome (a mixture of obesity, high blood pressure, elevated resting glucose and cholesterol). The conclusions were that a moderate result can be achieved through exercise alone. To maximise results all lifestyle factors need to be consider – nutrition, sleep and stress. Groundbreaking I know. 

There are many great benefits to exercise such as disease prevention, improved quality of life, enhanced brain function, however if you want to decrease your body fat and improve your health you need to be as dedicated to your nutrition as you are exercise. Exercising will help you in creating healthy behaviours but do not to fall into a mindset of I will eat this because I trained today or I’ll burn it off later. 

Here are 5 practical tips to improve your nutrition and achieve a healthy body composition. 

  1. Eat breakfast – skipping meals might seem like a good idea at the time but often leads to overconsumption later in the day. 
  1. Have protein at every meal – it will help you feel full and protect against muscle loss while you lose weight. 
  1. Eat 3 different colours of vegetables at every meal – it will help boost fibre intake and bring a diversity of quality nutrients. 
  1. Drink a glass of water when you eat – it will help you feel fuller and minimise your soft drink, juice, alcohol and energy drink consumption. 
  1. Avoid snacking – snacking is often because you’re bored, thirsty, not eating enough or eating too much of the wrong food. Focus on improving your main meals and realign with your appetite. 

You shouldn’t aim to be perfect, just better. Look for the small wins and dedicate yourself to your nutrition as much as you do your exercise. The exercise should be hard, the nutrition easy.