The relationship between food and exercise

By Jesse Addley

You may have heard the saying, ‘life is all about balance’…

This saying could not be more accurate when it comes nutrition, exercise and the relationship between the two.

Whatever your health and fitness goals may be, it is important to develop a sustainable game plan in order to succeed on your journey towards a healthier, happier you.

The basic method for dropping body fat or gaining weight is quite simple:

  • Calories IN vs Calories OUT.

This means that in order to lose weight or drop body fat, we must consume less calories than we expend in a day. The opposite applies to those that wish to gain weight and build muscle mass.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, there’s a little more to it…

A common misconception when it comes to losing weight is to eat less and exercise more. This is a BIG mistake for multiple reasons. Eating too few calories in a day (eg.1000 cals/day) can lead to negative results such as:

  • Low energy levels
  • Decline in metabolic rate
  • Constant hunger
  • Irritability and Anxiety

Sounds awful doesn’t it? This is exactly why I used the word BALANCE in the beginning of this article.

In order to successfully decrease body fat, we first need to determine our Basal Metabolic Rate (daily energy expenditure at rest) as well as our total energy output through daily activity and exercise. We then adjust our total caloric intake accordingly.

For example:
BMR = 2000 cals
Daily Activity = 600 cals
Total Calories/Daily Energy Expenditure = 2600 cals

As mentioned earlier, it is VITAL that we do not undereat as this will only lead to self-sabotage.

300 – 500 calories is generally a safe number to work with when it comes to manipulating body composition. Using the example above, our caloric intake goal in order to lose weight would be:

Caloric Intake Goal = 2600 – 500 = 2100 Calories

Now although the method above has been proven to work, some people prefer not to work with numbers and that’s OK! In general, we should focus on eating whole, natural foods and aim to consume a serve of protein with at least one serve of fruit and/or vegetables with every meal.

If you are new to diet and exercise, you may start by simply replacing one bad habit with one good one and build from there. Ditch that late night chocolate for a tasty protein smoothie, go for a walk instead of watching TV and ditch that 2nd coffee for a nice cold glass of water.

As these daily habits start to improve, so will your body composition and your desire to eat the good stuff. This in conjunction with exercise can totally reform your way of thinking and lead to incredible results.

Training with friends or in a group environment is another FANTASIC way to stay motivated. Although each individual will have goals that are unique to them, working alongside others and pushing one another to achieve these goals creates a sense of unity and let’s us know, we are not alone!

In summary, set yourself an overall goal as well as several smaller, achievable goals to conquer along the way. Ensure that your nutrition supports these goals and focus on building healthier, sustainable habits. Finally, grab a friend or join a team, get out there and make it happen!

By Jesse Addley

Certified Nutrition Coach, Specialised Fitness Trainer and Boxing Instructor – TRL FIT

This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history.