3 years ago · lizzie · 0 comments
Research clearly shows that diet is the biggest influencing factor of your weight. Approximately 80% of weight loss is related to the food you consume, compared to physical activity alone. Therefore, the best way to lose weight is through a focus on what you eat. Then use physical activity for physical and mental health benefits and as a great motivational tool to stick to your diet regime.
Whilst this is true, there are many inadvertent ways that being active actually influences the choices you make. Physical activity has a motivating or demotivating impact on your healthy eating behaviour. In addition to supporting your motivation efforts to consume a healthy diet, there are also a great deal of mental and physical health benefits to being physically active.
Let’s look at two weight loss and exercise examples
Weight loss example 1
You’ve had a hard day and are feeling exhausted when you arrive home from work. You sit down to watch television and become even more tired. In order to boost your energy levels, you decide to eat some chocolate. This boosts your energy for a little while, but soon you need to eat more and more of the chocolate just to maintain that energy boost.
A little while afterwards this sugar fix dissipates and you’re left feeling more tired than you were to begin with. In addition, now you feel emotional and frustrated that you’ve eaten junk food. You’re negative mood leads to you deciding to forget your health kick for tonight and just order a pizza instead of eating the grilled fish and salad you left waiting for you in the fridge this morning. You finish dinner feeling really sluggish, crash in front of the television and take yourself off to bed in the middle of the night. You wake up feeling sluggish, unhappy and unmotivated.
Weight loss example 2
You’re exhausted after a hard day at work. On the way home from work you decide to get off the train 1 stop earlier than usual. You walk the extra 30 minutes home listening to some uplifting music. By the time you arrive home, you feel energised, invigorated and happy. You relax with a nice cold glass of sparkling water and a protein bar. Then, you feel great, so you go straight to the fridge afterwards and start preparing the grilled fish you had left for yourself that morning. Feeling mentally clear after dinner, you decide to read through that paperwork you had been putting off for a while. Then you give yourself a relaxing bubble bath. You settle in with your favourite television show before going to bed and sleeping well all night. You wake up feeling refreshed and motivated.
In both examples you were originally feeling motivated to be healthy and as such were organised with a healthy meal in the fridge from the previous evening. However, engaging in just the extra 30 minutes of exercise to music made all the difference to your eating behaviour the next day. So you can see what a positive impact being active can have on your healthy eating choices.
In order to maintain a healthy diet, it’s really useful and helpful to add some exercise to your lifestyle. Even just a 10 minute walk will have a tremendous effect. This is why my ‘Refresh Your Life’ weight loss program incorporates gradually building physical activity into your lifestely with just 10 minutes of walking a day and a morning 5 minute energy boost. These little bits of exercise have the power to motivate you and support you along your healthy lifestyle journey.
Here are some steps to boost your motivation to eat healthy foods – through exercise
- Introduce a wake up exercise routine like the one in my ‘Refresh Your Life‘ program. This will get your day starting right (for example start with 10 push ups, 10 sit ups and 10 lunges)
- Look for ways you can increase physical activity into your day (e.g. walking up a few flights of stairs at work)
- Take your meetings outside. Engaging in walking meeting where possible is a fantastic way to both engage in physical activity and boost your positive mood whilst talking too
You don’t need to be on a strict diet to lose weight long term. The best way to lose weight is to make lifestyle changes that are effective and long lasting and that suit your needs. By making small changes that actually boost your motivation along the way, you will find healthy eating comes much easier and is much more enjoyable too.