We’ve all been guilty of it: smugly swallowing a mouthful of greens before regurgitating platitudes such as, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” or the equally misguidedly, “It’s 90% diet.” But without rebooting your training and diet in harmony, you’ll never tip the scales in your favour.
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle confirmed this when they conducted randomised trials on overweight participants. A clean diet alone was nowhere near as effective for fat loss as combining good nutrition with regular exercise. In fact, after five years, as many as 95% of dieters will, at best, be back where they started, and 41% will have regained more weight than they lost.
It’s exercise that makes a plan stick. As well as being beneficial in isolation, training has been proven to play a key role in diet adherence. Most of us underestimate the mental toughness required to resist cravings, but research shows that even small amounts of physical activity strengthens willpower. Hitting the gym not only burns calories , but it also steels you against the lure of the Golden Arches. The same can’t be said of a kale smoothie.
If you’re training hard, you have the opportunity to break from nutritional austerity with a cheat day, too. Rely exclusively on food for transformation and there’s no room for slip-ups: you can’t burn off extra calories without exercise. Workouts are what turn any reboot into a sustainable lifestyle, rather than a short-lived dietary denial. To make your resolutions stick, lace up your trainers.
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