Recently, I did something that I thought I was gonna regret because I had a doubt whether my body will be able to take the physical stress that comes with it. I was running in a marathon. The fact is that I was unprepared (as I fount out about it at the last moment and sort of asked nicely by my Nutritionist friend to go), I hadn’t worked out in over a month due to me moving and I was tired from having to get work done at my new place. The move was not only physically tolling, but psychologically too. Too many things to focus on simultaneously. Which is what made it seem like a bad idea to run 5KMS at 6:30 am. Of course, later, it turned out to be much more fun than I thought it would be.
But why am I telling you all this?
Well you see, despite me being in that state, I was not only able to complete the marathon pretty quickly (I didn’t win sadly/obviously), but after, I didn’t even feel tired, instead I felt refreshed, and the next day, rather than being sore, I felt light on my feet and ready to run again for the upcoming Decathlon!
This was surprising to me at first, but as I thought about it, I realized something, it was that, even though I wasn’t keeping up with my workouts, there was one thing that I was keeping watch on, the main thing we all need to keep watch on, and that thing was, What I was Eating.
All through this, one thing I did without even thinking, was to keep up my healthy eating habits. I.E. No sugar, no high oil foods, no junk food, etc. Basically I had been eating my regular meal, just cooked in a different way.
See, many think that maintaining dietary habits is the hard part, and here’s the deal, it will be the hardest thing, IF, you think about it as a chore and not as just a part of your regular day-to-day life.
For me, working out, went out the window as soon as I moved out of my old house, but eating was a necessity. I had to do it, as it was the most important thing that I needed, to literally move around during my hectic schedule.
Now, I had many options available during the time I was at a temporary location, most of them were junk food, but fortunately for me, I found two that weren’t. The junk food in the area was the more convenient option though, it was everywhere and it was delivered right to my doorstep. Still, I chose to opt for the one where I had to put some effort in, to go get it. I chose the other option, the option where I wasn’t gonna get a heart attack in the next few years, and I preferred to walk a bit further and back (which technically gave me some exercise). Even though my eating timings were a bit thrown off, the food items that I ate, remained almost the same, the same portions, the same quantity and it paid off this past Sunday.
So moving forward to today, now that I’m almost settled in, I thought I’d weigh myself and to my non-surprise, I did not gain a single pound..and I didn’t lose one either. My weight is the same as it was a month ago, despite not working out for the duration. My eating habits, made sure that I would stay in the same state I was before I had to stop. I did use some of my weights to see if I had lost the capability for them…I haven’t. So it looks like my diet also helped me maintain and retain my biomechanical capabilities as well.
Now of course, this can be argued by many that other factors might’ve contributed, i.e. genetics, my age, even gender, etc.
First off, let me tell you this, regardless of what age, gender, genes you are, it is not impossible for anyone who doesn’t have a weight related or metabolic related disease to be able to do this. Even those with such conditions have done it, and it’s much harder to do so for such individuals, so you can be sure, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to do it.
You need to realize that what you are lacking isn’t age, gender or genes related advantage (at least not a 100% of it), what you are lacking is mindset related.
Many don’t even pay attention to the nutrition part of physical fitness. Instead just focus on exercising and sometimes even overdoing it.
Let me ask a question to those who do that, how long do you think you can keep it up? Are you a 100% certain you can keep it up right through your 60’s and 70’s? How long do you think your current capabilities will last?
This is my point, exercising is of course important, but it’s only less than half of what truly gets you long term results. For those who don’t focus on their eating habits, all your hard work is going to waste!
If you’re not seeing results after 3 hours in the gym, it’s not because of the wrong exercises (well, it might be, I don’t know how you workout), it’s mainly because of your wrong or non-existent dietary habits.
You need to remember that what you eat, will not only help you now, it will also carry forward into your old age. Plus, proper eating habits also help you avoid metabolic conditions. It helps regulate diseases like diabetes. Diabetics are often prescribed a very specific diet by a clinical nutritionist. Now keep in mind that something like type 2 diabetes could also have a genetic factor, but it can also occur due to hazardous lifestyle choices. It can subside overtime with the right kind of exercises and diet. But you can preemptively reduce the chances of it happening by taking preventive measures immediately. All you have to do is watch what you eat.
My diet kept me in good enough shape to be able to run a marathon without any side-effects, but only because I followed it as a part of my daily life and not something separate and forceful to do. All one needs to do is not focus on temptations, just results, it is easier said than done only if you let it be. It is actually easier done than said. If you eat delicious food that is healthy, you won’t need to focus on junk foods and sugar products to fulfill your hunger. There are many sources of energy boosters and gap fillers you can try like Quest Protein Bars, for example. Just remember to not exceed your daily required protein intake by too much. You can eat some mixed berries or Greek yogurt, the possibilities are endless and much more beneficial than a pack of chocolate cookies.
So remember, if you want long term results, you gotta think long term, focus on what you put in your body just as much as you do on working it, if not more.
That’s it. Thanks for reading. If you want me to write on a specific topic or have something to share, or wanna discuss something I wrote in the article, comment below. Please follow me on my facebook page MMA Fitness as I’ll be putting out new videos soon.