Diet and physical exercise
The winning combination for quality weight loss, not just quantity weight loss. Here's how it works.
Eating less or eliminating certain foods from your diet isn't the right way to lose weight. Losing weight this way can not only be harmful, it can even be dangerous because you may risk limiting your intake of nourishing substances that are vital for your body.
The only true road to take if you want to lose weight intelligently is to combine physical activity with diet. Physical activity and diet are in fact two complementary elements that will help you:
- burn more calories than you take in;
- reduce your caloric intake by limiting (not eliminating) the introduction of foods that contain too many calories, thereby reducing your risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension;
- optimize the way you eat and use foods;
- improve your athletic performance.
The tight link between physical activity and diet
Diet plays a powerful role even if you are already a physically active person, because among the many types of foods out there, some favour physical activity more than others.
For example, if you perform aerobic activity, you'll need plenty of carbohydrates to avoid problems caused by a lack of sugar. If instead your passion is strength training, you'll need elevated amounts of protein.
Combining diet and exercise also means optimizing your intake and use of foods, and taking on board a few guidelines concerning the time between when you eat and when you start exercising will help noticeably improve your performance.
This is because digestion requires energy, and consequently less "fuel" is available for your other activities.
Naturally, different kinds of foods require different times to digest; fatty foods for example take longer to digest (even more than 4 hours) than carbohydrates (1 -2 hours).
How many nutrients do you need for moderate activity?
Associating your diet with consistent motor activity will help you reduce body fat without compromising your muscle mass and also increase your metabolically active mass.
Energy intake, derived from the introduction of the three principal macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), varies depending on your lifestyle.
In general, carbohydrates should account for approximately 60% of your individual needs, with 25% from fats and 15% from protein. By choosing to practice physical activity regularly, you can increase or decrease the amount of carbohydrates and fats introduced through your diet, perhaps cutting back on days with little activity.