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Five Reasons Diet is Important for a Healthy Lifestyle

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, many sources say that exercise is the most important thing to keep us in good shape and optimal fitness. 

For many years, exercise and physical activity has been the main focus for people who want to drive toward significant weight loss. It is common knowledge that while physical activity and regular exercise are important factors to keep you healthy, the main thing that should be focused on is diet when it comes to the area of weight loss (if that’s the goal).

Hard boiled eggs cut in half on a white plate.


Here are some of the main reasons why it’s what you put into your body-not necessarily out of it that helps to keep you fit and healthy. 

Exercise on its own does not equate to fitness and significant weight loss 

Ever heard yourself use phrases like I did XYZ (exercise) today, so I can eat this? That’s one of the main reasons why exercise alone cannot drive significant weight loss. Most of us tend to eat a little bit more to compensate for the calories that we burn when we work out or train. Of course, if weight loss is not the goal then that’s perfectly reasonable. However, for those who are attempting to shift some pounds, the reason that’s not happening is due to that fact alone. 

Many of us can be guilty of eating a little bit more than we need to–this can be due to excessive snacking, grabbing food on the go without properly knowing what’s in it. It is the eating we do without thinking that can undo the benefits of a good workout. 

If you want to understand exactly what you’re eating, make a list of the things you eat in a day. Doing so will help you to identify the areas that have some room for improvement with regards to caloric intake. 

Exercise can make you very hungry

As well as triggering subconscious snacking and eating more than you need, regular exercise can also increase your appetite and metabolic rate. People who exercise regularly will need to fuel their bodies to give themselves the energy required to support a rigorous workout, meaning that they will increase their calories accordingly. 

When you need to increase calories, most people will lean towards calorie-dense foods that don’t give us adequate nutrition. So while they are getting the calories they may need to recover, they are not getting the correct vitamins and minerals needed to help aid recovery after a workout. 

This is why supplementation exists as a quick and easy way to fuel your body before or after a workout (though it is still important to eat, it is much less likely that you will end up leaning towards fatty and sugary foods. Check out for some great shakes and supplements to aid recovery. 

It’s important to remember that hunger is not a bad thing. It is an inevitable consequence of a lifestyle change in the form of exercise and isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do as your body adjusts. You need the correct type of calories to be successful in your training. 

Overhead photo of jar of peanut butter.

Food is the fuel needed to drive exercise 

There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about the relationship that exists between food and exercise. However,  it is food that is needed to fuel exercise and our bodies as they recover. Without the right nourishment, it is almost impossible to be able to work out and train effectively. That means that your body is unlikely to burn the calories it needs to lose weight without being fuelled correctly and optimizing your energy levels. 

Foods high in potassium such as bananas are a great (but not necessarily low calorie) option to eat before a workout. Just one banana gives you all of the energy you need to work out for roughly 90 minutes. Lean meats such as skinless chicken, turkey, or pork with the fat removed to provide enough protein needed to fuel the muscles after a workout. Another excellent option is peanut butter, especially when combined with other foods as it contains protein and fiber. That means you can still enjoy the delicious peanut butter cookie recipe afterall! 

Even short-term weight loss is diet driven 

While short-term quick fixes are not recommended since they usually require putting our bodies into extreme conditions, we can often be impatient when it comes to actively see results. Even during these quick-fix programs, diet is what influences the results of rapid weight loss. They often mean eating in very small quantities to create a caloric deficit. 

Weight loss is at a 75:25 ratio. The higher number being the basis of the ideal emphasis based on what you eat. Studies show that the people who ate smart alongside their workouts showed more visible results. If weight loss is the goal, then the focus should be on looking at caloric intake over intense cardiovascular and weight lifting programs. 

Weight loss mechanics actually restrict exercise effectiveness 

Did you know that the mechanics of weight loss mean that exercise alone restricts weight loss? It is actually almost impossible for anybody who is looking to lose weight to produce and calorie deficit through exercise alone. If somebody’s body needs 2500 calories as their total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and they ate 2750 per day, burning around 150-200 calories doing a workout, then they will still go over the number of calories they need. 

It is incredibly important to note that the whole ‘women need 2000 calories per day- men 2500’ narrative is a myth. For some bodies that amount of calories is too much for them to maintain their weight, for others, it is too little. All bodies are different and need different amounts of food in order to function properly. There are many factors including; age, height, muscle mass, activity level, and also genetics.
If in doubt seek advice from a doctor or a nutritionist who should be able to guide you through understanding your body’s need or look for more articles on this blog!