Good nutrition is something we should all strive for because on a very simple level by improving your food intake you can improve your life. Good nutrition is something most people think they have. However, there is a wide gap between thinking that you have good nutrition having good nutrition, and actually having good nutrition. Good nutrition is something that we should all strive for because on a very simple level by improving our food intake we can improve our lives. Obtaining good nutrition is a limiting factor that most people need help with overcoming in the effort to reach the health and fitness goals. I will discuss what limiting factors are and how they relate to good nutrition. I will also talk about good nutrition defined, and how there are a lot of different opinions about what constitutes good nutrition. Finally, I will discuss how eating less and exercising is not the recipe for good heath; there must be good nutrition to balance the equation.
Good Nutrition and Limiting Factors
All of us have some sort of limiting factors that keep us from reaching our true potential. These are our weaknesses, they are what hold us back and keep us from succeeding. We need to be truthful with ourselves about our own personal limiting factors. When we talk about limiting factors in our lives, there can be a multitude of them. There can be discussions about what constitutes what is good for us, about our genetic makeup, our lifestyles, etc. However, I want to focus the limiting factors in our lives around a fitness lifestyle. More specifically, around the limiting factors of becoming healthy, losing fat, and gaining muscle. When we focus on these three limiting factors then we can narrow down the limits to: 1) Our genetic makeup, 2) our physical activities, and 3) our nutritional or lack of good nutrition habits.
1) Genetics & Good Nutrition
When someone uses the excuse that they practice good nutrition but it is their genetic makeup that is the reason they can’t seem to get healthy, it is a flawed excuse. Despite one’s genetics they can still improve themselves in very significant ways that lead to a fitness lifestyle. As much as I hate to admit it, good nutrition or not; most of us will never reach our genetic potentials for health and fitness no matter how hard we try. Unless you are already at the very brink of your genetic limits there is always room to improve your health and fitness. Bottom line about genetics is that with the proper advice there is always room for health improvements, fat loss, and muscle gain.
2) Physical Activity & Good Nutrition
Another limiting factor is your physical activity level. There is no magic pill to obtain a fitness lifestyle. If you want to get fit, have a leaner body, gain improvements in your health, and look good naked; you must engage in purposeful intense physical activities. If you are sitting at your desk all day, then come home as plop in front of the boob-tube; you are on the fast track to metabolic decline, fat gain, muscle loss, and a long unhealthy life full of fitness/lifestyle related diseases. I’m sure that most everyone has heard about taking 10,000 strep per day to stay healthy. If you are under the 5,000 steps per day mark then you are considered sedentary and at a much higher risk of death, disease, and gaining weight.
It doesn’t take much to start moving down the path of a fitness lifestyle. If you can get into a 10,000 steps per day regimen and then include 3 hours of high intensity exercise per week; you will be surprised at the results that you will experience. However, exercise is not enough; it needs to be combined with good nutrition. There has been a study done over a 16 week period with overweight people where the control group did no exercise against a group that exercised with an Olympic trainer. During this time there was no guidance on good nutrition and the participants were allowed to eat their current food choices. The results are probably not what you would think. The exercise group only showed a very slight improvement in weight loss, lean body mass gain and overall percentage of body fat lost. By no means do I want to discount the importance of exercise. However, it is clear that exercise alone is not the answer to a fitness lifestyle. Good nutrition must be a part of the equation.
3) Nutritional Habits & Good Nutrition
Moving to little and eating too much of the wrong foods = becoming overweight, unhealthy, with too much fat and too little muscle. People in this camp must get moving! But getting moving is not going to be enough as we have discussed. Their limiting factor goes beyond their ability to exercise, it is not their genetic makeup that is holding them back; it is what they are eating. Their limiting factor is a lack of good nutrition.
Bottom Line on Good Nutrition
No matter if you want to gain muscle mass, lose weight, lose fat, lead a fitness lifestyle, or compete at your sport at the highest level that you can; almost always the limiting factor is going to be good nutrition. Not having good nutrition is what holds us back, and good nutrition will propel us forward. Good nutrition will lead to muscle mass gains and fat reductions. Good nutrition will improve your recovery and improve pretty much every measurable health marker. Good nutrition will lead to you being in a better mood which make it easier to motivate to exercise longer, harder, and more frequently. Good nutrition make you want to stand in front of the mirror naked and look you never thought you could have.