Is it diet or exercise?

People ask about my diet and exercise routines all the time, and the question I hear the most...

"So, which is more important to keep your body fit? Is it diet or exercise?"

It is both… that is the short answer to that question. I’m going to break down the longer version for you.

My husband Mark always says that diet makes up 80% and exercise makes 20% of a naturally fit life. I personally think he says that because he hates working out! I think it is close to that though.. Maybe more like 70% diet and 30% exercise. Now, by "exercise", I don’t mean go get on the stairmaster and never get off of it. I actually think cardio makes me gain weight.. WHY!?!? Because I eat more! I am starving to death after a 2 hour bike ride, even have to bring a sandwich with me and eat on the bike..TO which I ask myself what the hell am I doing!?!?

"Everything in moderation" is VERY true in life- including working out.

I have run marathons, cycled, step aerobics, yoga, walking, hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, and even weight lifting. For me, yoga works best because it lengthens my muscles while increasing strength with the resistance of my body. I usually do yoga 3-4 days per week and then walk or spin 1 or 2 days per week. If I work out too much I tend to gain weight, and I'm more likely to get injured or become obsessed.

NOW the important part… DIET…. It is a four letter word.. Don’t do it.

No meal plans or crazy diet strategies. Follow these rules:

RULES

1. If you have to open a package, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Processed food is bad. If God made it, then it's good. If people made it, it is usually processed and has added sugar.

2. A calorie does not equal a calorie. For example, eating 100 calories of almonds does not equal 100 calories of potato chips. Your body uses them and processes them differently.

3. Portion sizes. Women need to be very careful with this especially in America. Don’t super size it.. do the opposite of that. Share a meal with your spouse, child or friend. They really should have 3 portion sizes: womens, mens and kids!

4. Everything in moderation. You can cheat. I cheat almost everyday (on my diet lol) just make it small! A chocolate here or a cookie there. Small amounts. You need to be able to eat what you want- just eat a few chips with queso.. not the whole basket.

5. You don’t need 3 meals a day… Who even came up with that? For me it is easier to eat when I am hungry.. Usually twice per day. I skip b’fast because for me it is just added calories to my day.

Unfortunately, the more I think about how I need to lose weight, I gain weight. The struggle is real and you need to make it work for you personally.

These are just the tips that work for me!

What works for you and your health & fitness journey?

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