You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

As a person who is ultimately living day-to-day in the fitness world, I have to remember that exercise is still only part of the health equation. When a client comes to me with a goal of weight loss, I always have to keep in mind and share with them that weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. For long term goals, diet and exercise work hand in hand – the most powerful team to achieve a purposeful result. The growing rise in obesity is directly related to the amount and the types of food that we, as Americans, have available to us. So many foods are passed for healthy that clearly are not. In school lunch programs, pizza is considered a vegetable. That is a glaring problem. Since when does cheese and meat on bread come out equal to green beans or celery? This contorted view of food is part of our nation’s weight epidemic. Whole foods – true vegetables, meats, dairy, grains and fruits – should be the staples that we live on day-to-day.

(a)

(a)

The image above shows how much junk an average american eats every year. Twenty nine pounds of fries is equivalent to an average 2-year-old toddler. That is a lot of fries! Moderation is severely lacking in American adults. The saying that “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” is starting to fade because our bodies are adapting to the giant portions that we see and are served daily. Very few people read the nutritional labels for serving sizes anymore and honestly, most people would be shocked to know what actual servings of their favorite foods are.

(b)

(b)

Some don’t realize it, but food can kill people. For most who suffer from food related health issues, it’s happening without their knowledge. Many mass produced foods are made with such a high chemical and fat content that there is no nutritional value to them whatsoever. Eating empty foods like this does not help curb your true hunger, it only adds to issues happening within your body. Heart disease and diabetes, while not new issues, are at an all time high due to the lack of moderation and low quality food we are putting into our bodies.

A few tips that I would like to share are these:

1. Read your labels! An easy rule of thumb is “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.” Labels ridden with long chemical names aren’t “whole” foods in any way. Try to stick to the real stuff. 2. Snack smart! Keep healthy snacks on hand for the times when hunger hits and you aren’t able to make something. Fruits and veggies are great grab-and-go options. 3. Know your portions! Pizza isn’t bad, but eating half a pizza is.

“While diet and exercise are both important for long-term weight loss and fitness goals, remember this: ‘You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!’” (c).

(a) (image) http://www.creditloan.com/blog/food-consumption-in-america/
(b) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-2970306/Graphic-reveals-food-portion-sizes-eating.html
(c) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/exercise-vs-diet-for-weight-loss_n_5207271.html

Changing Our Perceptions of Accountability

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” - Bob Proctor

Trainers function in the world of fitness the same way an addiction sponsor, military superior, or college professor function in their respective environments. They are there to support a task that might - at times - feel bigger than oneself. The success of a fitness trainer and trainee is an effort of accountability between two (or more) individuals. Trust is involved, and without it, a person’s efforts are done almost entirely in vain. A lot can be accomplished solo in life, but there is a hard line that everyone reaches - and cannot pass - without accountability of some sort.

Accountability begins with a partial surrender. It’s the willingness to let go of a piece of personal control and to rely on someone else to hold up that part of your life WITH you. The trusting relationship with an accountability partner is a joint effort; just as most people are unable to complete very difficult tasks alone, neither can your partner take up the reigns on your whole life and steer you to success. Accountability is a balance between answering to someone else for your successes and failures and being accountable to yourself.

The old adage is that an individual can form a new habit (big or small) in 21 days. New research has shown that depending on the habit, the actual range is two to eight months (a). The reality is that anything that takes that much time is going to require some self-accountability. Over the difficult days of building a new habit - a new fitness routine for example - there will be times when your accountability partner won’t be around to encourage you. Those are the times when self-accountability comes into play. When you and your partner set goals there should be rewards and consequences. Just as a missed work assignment warrants penalty and a job well done a reward, so should a misstep or achievement in your accountability plan.

The biggest misconception people have is that accountability is a sign of weakness. We live a world of do-it-yourselfers and while some tasks can be accomplished with that mindset, the hardest (and usually most important and rewarding) cannot. According to J. Mueller, in order to replace the judgement of weakness with power, we must also see that there are common guidelines within accountability - set measurements for every goal (b). The successful partnerships are not based on judgement, but instead a goal that a team works at with great effort until completion.

The encouragement here is that accountability can and should be a strength and tool for success in life and in this case, fitness. Without the accountability partnerships that I have had in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today and wouldn’t be able to join with people to help them achieve their successes. Everyday I have people who I lean on and people who lean on me. It’s one of the greatest gifts of accountability: passing on the strength and endurance that someone else has pushed you to gain.

(a) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674/abstract
(b) http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/08/03/the-costs-of-accountability/