Image via Instagram (@thebritsnaps).
After three weeks I couldn’t see any difference. I hopped on the scales to find out I’d actually put ON weight that couldn’t just be explained by muscle.
My problem? I’d thought that because I was going from doing nothing to something reasonably full on, that simply doing exercise would be enough. I didn’t alter my eating habits – if anything they’d probably gotten a bit worse because I’d “reward” myself for working out.
According to nutritionist Melanie McGrice , it’s a common health mistake people are making.
“I often see clients who are frustrated because they’ve joined a gym but haven’t achieved much weight loss. Exercise provides a lot of additional benefits, but most people can’t lose weight without modifying their dietary intake as well,” she explains.
So does the saying being healthy is 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise really stand? Or can you do one without the other?
“I believe that focusing on 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent fitness to lose weight is a good balance,” says McGrice.
“About 65 to 85 per cent of our energy expenditure results from our metabolism, so although exercise increases the number of kilojoules we burn, it only impacts our energy equation by a relatively small proportion,” she explains. (Post continues after gallery.)
Clinical dietician and exercise physiologist Gabrielle Maston agrees.
“People start attending gym everyday, then start eating more because ‘they exercise’. It’s almost like exercise gives them permission to over-indulge. For long term success you need to change your diet and start exercising.”
In fact, a healthy diet could even be more important than exercising – and whether you believe this or not could actually be affecting your outcome.
According to a study published in the journal Psychological Science, people who think that diet is the most important factor in controlling their weight tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who believe that exercise takes first priority.