There’s 24 hours in a day. Exercise is usually only 1 hour out of the day for the average person. It’s easy to hit the gym, dominate your workout and feel great about. However, it’s what’s done in the other 23 hours outside of the gym that matter’s the most! We’ve all had that little voice inside our head that says “Well, I just ran 3 miles..I deserve a slice of cake! And maybe some pizza…or pop!” Before you know it, you’ve consumed more energy than burned. Here’s some reasons as to why nutrition is so important:
- Most exercise sessions don’t burn enough calories to cancel out a bad diet
This holds true for the average American. While some professional athletes burn 2000-4000 calories per day, they spend hours in the gym performing high intensity training. The average 155 pound individual burns 400-500 calories per hour, depending on the exercise. That’s equivalent to about 1 slice of cake, or a large Starbucks mocha frappe
- In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit!
Here’s the secret to weight loss: Calories out must be greater than calories in. Going to the gym will definitely help to torch fat, however it’s only one part of weight loss. The other way to lose weight is to consume a healthy, balanced diet with correct portion sizes for your height and weight. Make nutrition a priority and results will follow!
- You won’t have the energy to work out
When you’re not fueling your body with the correct foods, you won’t have the energy to work out. The key to maintaining energy throughout the day and during your workout is a balanced diet–this means eating the right amount of protein, carbs and healthy fats frequently throughout the day. Sure, some may feel a quick surge of energy after eating a candy bar or gulping down a pop, however this is simply a “sugar high”. Every sugar high must come crashing down, often leading you feeling more tired than before. A vicious cycle is often created, when an individual then consumes more sugar to get out of the slump. This creates what I like to call a “roller coaster” effect of the blood sugars, and can lead to weight gain and a chronic cycle of fatigue.
- You won’t feel great working out
We’ve all had that workout where we just don’t feel like performing. Whether it’s from being too tired, lack of focus or any other reason, it’s easy to call it quits quickly. Consuming a balanced diet helps to sustain you throughout the workout, keep blood sugars balanced, and give you the energy needed.
- You may be prone to injuries
Some people may hit the gym with a goal of burning off a certain amount of calories from a previous meal or day. Or perhaps they know that they have intentions of eating a terrible diet the rest of the day. Yes, it is possible to spend several hours at the gym and burn a large amount of calories. However, doing this on a daily basis is not sustainable or long lasting. Eventually your body will experience fatigue, injuries will happen and burnout may occur. Not to mention, excessive exercise takes the place of social life, family time and other activities. That’s why creating healthy eating habits that will last a life time is so important.
Another reason you may prone to injuries is that your body needs nutrients within a certain window of time to recover and refuel. Sure, eating an entire bag of chips will definitely replenish carbs, but it won’t do much for protein, vitamins or minerals.
In summary, exercise is a great for weight loss, but nutrition is key!