Most of us have been conditioned to believe that if we want to burn some body fat, we generally have to start some new diet. And yet, holistic fitness is all about considering the whole of your lifestyle, not just what you eat. Accordingly, the exercise and mind/body realms of this philosophy have a direct affect on your nutrition efforts. This is why it’s impossible to hit optimal levels of health just from diet alone. Let’s take a quick look at how these two other realms come into play, just from a dietary perspective.
In the Exercise Realm, the kind of shape you’re in, along with how many calories you burn everyday, are among the main ways that your diet is affected. Consider this:
• Cardio training helps to burn calories and increase your metabolism
• Resistance training builds muscle mass, which burns calories around the clock (to the tune of 50 to 100 calories per day per pound of lean muscle tissue)
• Exercise in general helps to relieve stress (see below for why this is important)
In the Mind/Body Realm, we know that being stressed or depressed can lead to overindulging in all of the worst foods and substances for us. (Remember the old saying that stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Who hasn’t sought the solace of heavy desserts as an antidote to stress?) Also, we are typically reinforcing old, disempowering thought processes unless we consciously reinforce new, constructive ones. By engaging many of the concepts available in the mind/body realm, you will find that:
• Less stress promotes slower more mindful eating, which means better assimilation
• Less stress means you’re less susceptible to overeating or even binge-eating
• Less stress means minimal release of certain stress-related hormones (like cortisol) which have been shown to promote body fat retention
• Key mental exercises are necessary to reshape your identity to stay on the new eating regimen
So as you continue to employ concepts from these other two realms, you will find that it’s less about dieting, and more about the synergy of a total lifestyle philosophy.