Well, it's been several months now that I began to cook at home to complement my workouts. I feel so good about it. I'm no longer playing for a tie when it comes to exercise. So many people burn calories by spending an hour on the treadmill or the bike machine and then proceed to erase all the benefits by not watching what food they put in their mouths the rest of the day. Most forms of cardio burn about 500 calories in a given workout. For example, during my 1-hour run today, my Garmin tells me I burned 472 calories. All of this can be undone merely by having two slices of pepperoni pizza, which underscores a basic law of exercise: you can never outrun a bad diet.
The only form of fat loss that is sustainable over the long haul is one that includes -- not dieting -- but good nutrition. Resorting to the latest diet fad won't cut it. You have to develop a completely new mindset when it comes to your nutrition. I am slowly learning from my mistakes in the past and realizing that what made me not follow through was the fact that I was never truly committed to eating healthy. The problem is that neither cardio nor weight lifting is effective if you don't get your nutrition in check as well. Workout consistency as well as consistency in healthy eating is crucial for seeing long-term results. The fact is that cardio doesn't really burn all that many calories and that a day full of bad eating can quickly eclipse what you lost in your training.
For what it's worth, here's what I ate today.
- Breakfast: Eggs and sausage.
- Lunch: Tuna sandwich and avocado.
- Supper: Pork ribs with rice.
- Snacks: 2 protein drinks.
Is this easy? Not at all. For me, good nutrition is the harder part of the process since the discipline required to get my nutrition right requires much more diligence throughout the day than getting my workouts in. Working out is the easy part. Passing up a fast food joint on the drive home is the hard part.
The bottom line is that Americans are not overweight -- we are overfat. If you are looking to lose body fat while adding body muscle, then you've got to have an approach that balances activity with good nutrition. I'm not talking about a "diet" to help you fit into your pants. I'm referring to a completely new way of looking at your nutrition. This will involve some pretty big dietary changes, attitude adjustments, and balance.