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Nutrition Vs Exercise - What wins the weight loss battle

Firstly apologies again for the lack of blogging. Let’s just say that the last year of uni was a bit of a big one and I needed to put all my time and effort into that. But now that I’m done (those 3 and a half years felt like a lifetime but looking back now they went really quick) I am back to it! And my goal is to blog every 2 weeks or so. Ideally every week but realistically that may not happen. So lets aim for every 2 shall we.

Lots of exciting things are happening here at The Nutritional Trainer starting with a new clinic opening in about a months time – all things going smoothly. But I will be sure to keep you posted closer to the time and give you all a sneak peak.

So my first blog back is going to be about diet vs exercise in the weight loss war and which is better and going to help you lose wight fastest.

Although the weather in Sydney has been beautiful recently (hello 26 degrees in July!?) realistically there is still a month left of winter and it’s about now that everyone starts to panic about getting their “Summer body” ready. It’s this time when you then start to think how will I do this? Go and see a nutritionist? Join a gym? Go to a Personal Trainer? Having been there myself, I’m going to tell you from my personal experience what I think works. Yes I could quote facts, figures and research - as to which diet works, as to which type of exercise is the best for weight loss, toning, building muscle (which I have read numerous articles and research papers on both weight loss and nutrition) but this post it is going to be my personal opinion because anyone can give you facts and figures but I can give you the honest truth reality of it which is what I’m all about.

So the fact that I’m both a Nutritionist and a Personal Trainer I come from both sides of the spectrum and have a detailed understanding of both so I’m not going to be biased against one or the other.

Firstly let’s talk about exercise. If you’ve never exercised a day in your life (like my old self or what I like to call past Victoria) this can be a very daunting experience and is a great place to start for getting fit an healthy. Which is what I much prefer to say instead of lose weight or get summer ready. When I first stepped into a gym those years ago now (feels like yesterday), it was the scariest thing I’d ever done up until that point in my life – actually come to think of it probably up until now too. All the equipment there (especially the weights room – ummm what is a squat rack) staring me in the face and me not knowing what to do with it. For me that was why a Personal Trainer worked so well. My trainer was absolutely amazing; she herself had lost weight and so knew what I was going through and how daunted I felt. This is one of the main points that I tell my clients, I have been there when you’re struggling don’t think I don’t know how it feels because I do. It is the amount and type of exercise you do that can either help or hinder your weight loss. It doesn’t have to mean long strenuous cardio sessions contrary to what everyone thinks. This is where people can go wrong, they slog it out on the treadmill/bike for hours on end but are still the same on the scales as they’re losing muscle as well as fat. And really who in this busy world has time to go to the gym for 3 hours a day … um no one!? This is where short sharp interval sessions be it either weights or cardio are great. Think 30 seconds on 15 seconds off or 45 seconds on 10 off for 30 – 40 minutes and you have yourself one sweaty, efficient, fat burning workout. It brings your heart rate constantly up and down getting you both fitter and burning fat at the one time which is #winning in my opinion.

Now the nutrition side of things. Apart from “listen to your mother, she knows best” I believe the saying “you can’t out train a bad diet.” is one of the truest sayings in the world. To achieve effective weight loss it is 70% Nutrition, 30% exercise - everyone thinks that it should be the nutrition that complements the weight loss, but it is really the other way around. Yes I’m not going to dispute that exercising you can lose weight ... well actually no I am. The amount of exercise that you would have to do to lose a significant amount of weight is extreme. Exercise is more about getting fit, healthy and toning your body, not really for weight loss. It can aid weight loss but it definitely isn’t going to be the soul source of it. If you are exercising and aren’t eating well then chances are you are not going to be losing weight and might in fact be putting it on. When people exercise, especially with a weight loss goal they then tend to eat more as they think “oh sweet I trained this morning it’s a free for all” and yes you do need to up what you eat to help you with your training but I’m talking about increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, not your chocolate and chip intake.

For me and losing weight, changing the nutrition part of it far outweighed any amount of exercise I could have done. There were days when I couldn’t exercise, for being sick, stuck at work – I used to train at night whereas now I’m more of a 5 or 6am exerciser and back then I would use any excuse. And more importantly having rest days to let my body recover. So it was changing what I ate and fueled my body with that truly helped me become a fitter, healthier, stronger person.

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