In the age of information, most Australians realise that the combination of an active lifestyle and a healthy diet is critical to overall health and wellbeing. Understanding that both are important, however, does not mean that we’re all effectively practicing both disciplines.
While research has previously proven that most of us who commit to focusing on one healthy habit do so at the expense of another, more studies have shown that your body mass index (BMI) may actually be affected by which of the two you prioritise.
Focusing on BMI results (not overall health), studies have proven that people who believe a healthy diet is the key to weight control have better results on the scales than those who rely on exercise.
The reasons are simple; those who pay attention to what they eat ensure that fewer excess calories enter their body. The exercisers, on the other hand, believe that they can consume generously and simply burn off those extra KGs later. As Brent McFerran, PHD and co-author of the study, has stated “The problem is that many people think that they can work off the extra pounds and if they eat a 3,000 calorie lunch, nearly no one has enough free time in the rest of the day to exercise it off.”
So whilst exercise is so important for heart health, bone strength, sleep, memory, stress reduction and a whole host of other crucial health functions, those looking to maintain or lose weight should put the spotlight on their dinner plate.
Some easy to follow tips are;
- Watch your portions. A nice trick is switching to smaller crockery, forgoing the big pasta bowl for more of a fruit salad size
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sometimes your body confuses hunger and thirst
- Stack up on crunchy greens. You’ll feel satisfied for munching through a feast while the calorie intake remains low
- Snack often and never starve yourself. Keeping your distance from food is not sustainable. Those who try fasting often end the hunger pains with a binge