Nutrition or Exercise, which comes first?
The diet or the workout, which comes first?
A question that trainers get quite frequently is, “what is most important; your workouts or diet?” I have heard nutritionists debate this with trainers and visa-versa but the real answer is that both are just as important.
You can’t fuel a race care with 87 octane fuel and run it at 185 mph, nor should you fill your daily driver with 98 blended octane and putt it around town at 15 mph, neither makes sense and both options will ultimately destroy your engine, and the same should be said for your body.
If you are an elite athlete eating McDonald’s everyday then you are limiting your upper performance levels, and if you are a full time couch potato yet you eat an organic vegan diet, you are not reaping the full health benefits, in fact, you may be making yourself less healthy.
Like everything else in the world, weight loss/getting in shape in regards to nutrition and exercise is complicated; but the good news is is that it can be made easy. When it comes down to it we like to see results and good nutrition without exercise or exercise without good nutrition will only slow those results, if not impede them completely.
When you start a nutrition program you often see your energy levels rise, this would be a good time to implement a fitness program to compensate for the increased energy and allow your body to do what it is telling you it wants to do. The same happens when you start a fitness program; often you find yourself craving a higher calorie diet, especially post workout, because your body is demanding the extra calories needed to replace those lost during the workout.
If you institute a nutrition program and lose weight without supplemental exercise to increase lean body mass and cardiovascular health, you will likely end up in the yo-yo situation in which you gain all the losses back when you stop the program. The same goes for when you start a fitness program without modifying your diet to healthier foods, your results will be slow to come. If at a minimum you are going to do one thing, not for weight loss or for vanity but just for health concerns, the one thing would be adding some sort of daily activity to your routine. This is the number one way to reduce the risk of disease but it won’t help necessarily in the other two areas.
What is the right program for me?
There is no one program-fits-all solution in the world of fitness and nutrition, there is only the right plan, or way of doing things, that can deliver individual success on a consistent basis. This is where our annual Spring Into Summer Shape plan helps you succeed where other programs have failed, it follows a process and together we fill in the different elements of that process to make it work for you and your personal lifestyle, goals, and abilities.
Here are the basic elements of our plan laid out:
LONG & SHORT TERM GOALS
This shouldn’t just be a weight, it should be a list of items such as be able to run a 10K in under an hour, bike 50 miles comfortably, get back to my college circumference measurements, walk 4 flights of stairs with little effort, get my waist measurement to such & such, be able to hike Half Dome in a day…these sorts of goals give you something tangible to achieve in the end and also gives you smaller goals to accomplish during your plan such as run/walk a 5K in under 30 minutes or shorter local hikes or circumference measurement targets on the way to your ultimate goal.
FITNESS PLAN ELEMENTS
It’s best to start with your workout planning and scheduling before getting to the nutrition. With some people it may be the other way around but making sure you have time for exercise is imperative to your overall plan’s success. Start small and add over time. There are three basic elements to your fitness plan: long duration low intensity exercise sessions, medium duration, medium intensity exercise sessions and short duration, high intensity exercise sessions. The higher the intensity, the shorter duration the session can be. If you carry too much weight to do much medium or high intensity exercise then it is best to just start with low intensity long duration exercise.
Everyone says that they are too busy to workout…well then, that means that you are too busy to live, period. You have to make time, no excuses! What good is all that you accomplish if you can’t enjoy it? I will tell you right now, if you make time to workout your work life will get better, your personal relationships will get better, and your sex life will get better. But go ahead, tell me you don’t have time to workout, once you do make the time, you won’t have time to do whatever it was that wasn’t making those areas of your life better.
With our Spring Into Summer Shape plan, we customize your fitness schedule to fit your abilities, time commitment and 6 week goal. You can’t lose 12 overall inches in 6 weeks by committing to 1 hour a week of low intensity training, your fitness schedule has to fit with your overall goal or you have to adjust one or the other. We like to mix all three session types. Low intensity is generally walking at a constant pace for an hour or more, biking for ninety minutes or more, or hiking in sand or hilly terrain for 45 minutes or more. Session type two, medium intensity exercise would be a low intensity basketball game for 30 to 45 minutes, surfing for an hour or more, mountain biking for 45 minutes to an hour, and high intensity, short duration would be a boot camp or supplemental in home workout that involves high intensity interval training.
Everyone is so different in this area that to even begin we need to have a conversation, ask questions and then make suggestions that will fit into your lifestyle and as much as you are willing/able to change it. If you make to many changes too quickly you may quit, if you don’t see results quickly enough you may quit, if you feel terrible you may quit, the goal of a nutrition plan is to make it something you can do sustainably beyond just the term of the plan, it is something that you like, and it helps move you toward your long term goals.
With any nutrition plan there are adjustments along the way. We most often start with a limited ingredient diet and add to it to make sure that your liver is burning fat efficiently and that there aren’t items that we shouldn’t eliminate all together. There are literally thousands of diets out there and yes, some of them could work for you, but it is best to talk to a nutritionist, let them walk you past all the diets that won’t work for you, and allow them to guide you to the one nutrition plan that will.
Let us do the heavy lifting!
That’s how easy it is! Set your long term goals while contemporaneously setting more achievable, short term markers along the road. Establish the elements of your fitness plan that can fit into your schedule that you are capable of doing and actually move you toward your short term goals. Schedule your sessions for the 6 weeks, making sure that the three types of sessions fit into your personal schedule and provide enough physical activity to meet your short term marker needs. Incorporate an appropriate nutrition plan that fits into your schedule, provides you with the right food and calories to adapt to your fitness schedule and is sustainable beyond the 6 weeks.
Our Personal Fit Plans are designed to allow us the opportunity to work with you to fill in each of these elements and make adjustments along the way if you are not meeting your short term marker needs or your nutrition planning doesn’t agree with your lifestyle. By getting high quality food to you with menu’s and recipes we hope to provide you with more time to either cook or workout or both and we do it in a manner that should be commensurate with your current weekly food budget.
Let’s get started today with with any one of our 4 Personal Fit Plans!