You can’t out exercise a bad diet.
Now, don’t get me wrong!
There is a very important place for exercise in your life. Even a small amount of exercise has tremendous health benefits.
The thing is, for all the benefits that exercise brings to the table, it cannot undo the damage that chemicals and processed food cause in our body.
When our body lacks enough nutrients to function properly, it struggles to maintain its balance and to keep the systems in our body functioning smoothly.
If we don’t feed our body the nutrients it needs, it will try to protect the resources it has and will go into starvation mode. Starvation mode increases stress hormones, and stress hormones signal the body to store fat.
The liver gets overworked trying to process all the chemicals and doesn’t have the time or the resources to focus on its job of cleaning our blood and breaking down fat.
There are literally scores of other systems in our body that get thrown off by the simple act of not eating properly.
If you eat a poor diet, then your body is doing the very demanding job of maintaining normal body chemistry under adverse conditions.
Think of it like this. A car needs fuel in order to drive. It needs a battery and a transmission and spark plugs and a whole bunch of other stuff that work in unison to keep it driving. If one of these things are missing, the car won’t drive. If it does get started, the car certainly won’t be functioning at its full potential. End of story.
Every commercial diet out there either removes a key component of our body’s optimal functioning (think no-fat, no-carb), or focuses on calorie count rather than nutrient intake.
These diet strategies may help you lose some weight in the short run. But your body is ultimately paying the price and won’t be working at its best.
Additionally, a poor diet is a huge stressor on the body. When there is too much stress, the body automatically produces the hormone cortisol.
This sets off a chain reaction and can disrupt almost all your body’s processes causing anxiety, depression, digestive issues, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, memory and concentration impairment, just to name a few…
And you know you shouldn’t feel this way. At any age.
Too much exercise is also a stressor and will stimulate the production of cortisol.
Excess cortisol causes the body to store fat, especially in the abdomen.
Overtraining can also lead to symptoms of depression, chronic fatigue and hypothyroidism.
Unless you are a professional athlete, a normal person needs only 30-60 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week in order to benefit greatly from that exercise.
Again, I’m not saying that if you enjoy endurance sports that you should stop. Just be mindful of the way it affects your body and take these steps to lower your cortisol:
- Limit your high-intensity workouts to two to three times a week.
- Throw a yoga class in the mix. (Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it 😉 )
- Eat enough healthy carbs.
- Get enough sleep.
Make sure you are getting enough of the right nutrients in your diet so you will feel you best!
For guidance in shopping and meal planning for optimal health, go grab a free copy of my Meal Planning Guide.
If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!
I respond to every one.