A coin has two sides. Heads and tails.
This coin is your physique.
Heads represents your nutrition. Tails represents your exercise.
There's no such thing as a one-sided coin (I think). So, to have a good body, you must be well-established in both areas.
"Alright genius, tell me something I don't know."
Okay then, calm down mate...
Let's talk about how you should think about each of these areas for maximal long-term results.
Now we're talking.
We just imagined nutrition and exercise as two faces of the same coin. Forget that. We'll now think of them as completely different.
We will imagine them as an input and an output.
Nutrition is your input - your fuel. This alone controls your body composition, as well as mental and physical performance.
Exercise is your output - your motor. Exercise is your health markers. Your strength level. Your mobility. Pretty much feeling good and being physically capable of anything.
Mastering each domain as a separate entity will allow you to focus on each independently of each other. You can understand the real reasons why each is important and develop a stronger meaning behind your personal actions, habits and routines which make up both.
Plus, it's an interesting perspective on fitness. One that I personally follow and try to get my clients to understand.
Nutrition: Are you using bad fuel?
Nutrition has a massive impact on your physique and far outweighs the role of exercise in body composition. Ever heard the saying "you can't out train a bad diet"? Your diet is 80-90% of the battle when it comes to your body image.
Nutrition is your input.
The food and drink you put into your body controls:
state of happiness
and a whole lot more
Can you see how insanely important that is?
It literally is the fuel of your body.
Your current weight is almost 100% dictated by how many calories you consume each day. It's entirely possible to lose fat by purely focusing on your nutrition. This should be anyone's first step in a weight loss goal.
By understanding the basics of calories, macronutrients and micronutrients you can have full control over how your physique looks.
Hear that? Full, complete, total control.
You can follow a meal plan and lose weight.
You can join Weight Watchers or get on the Atkins Diet and lose weight.
But, in the end, long-term is the goal. Knowledge gives you power.
"Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime."
The fuel you put into your body is the most important aspect of your body composition. It controls how you look and feel. Give it the attention it deserves.
Control your input.
Exercise as your motor: Are you performing?
The exercise you do relates to your specific physical capabilities.
Keyword there: specific.
If you run a lot, you will be a better runner. If you squat with a barbell a lot, you will be a better squatter. And if you do a lot of yoga, you guessed it, you will be better at yoga.
You get results specifically from what you put in.
In that perspective, every purposeful bit of exercise you do should have a reason behind it.
Many of you guys read this for weight loss. Allow me to flip one idea on its head. Exercise is not the best thing for weight loss. Your diet is. Exercise only plays a small role. As you read above, your input is in control of your weight.
With that put out there, would it not be better to focus on exercise as a means to hit other facets of fitness?
Instead of weight loss, think about other things like:
Growing muscle mass so you look better.
Reducing lower back pain.
Improving heart and lunge health (so you can live longer)
Correcting posture so you can walk around confidently.
Minimising aches and pains.
Increasing strength so everything in life seems easier.
Your input controls your weight. Allow weight loss to happen primarily through that.
Put your output to better use. Use it to improve your physical ability. Improve your mobility so you're not hurting all the time. Improve your muscle mass and strength so no jar of jam will ever stop you.
Use your output to improve the quality of your life and live longer.
Are you wasting energy on redundant exercise? Think about why you do your chosen exercises and if they are really in line with your goals.
Are you performing to your utmost capability? Think of the things you know you're capable of and make a few changes to get on track.
Control your input.
Be purposeful with your output.
There are two sides to the coin of your body.
You can't have up without down and you can't have left without right. Likewise, you can't have exercise without nutrition when the goal is fitness.
The cool part is, you can separate them to get even more results than you bargained for.
For example, a dude has a weight loss goal. He also has pains in his neck and upper back from years of sitting, zero core strength and wants to feel stronger - like a gust of wind isn't going to blow him over.
We can actually separate his nutrition from his exercise to hit all goals.
Control the input. In whichever way is best, get our dude into a calorie deficit. Allow his diet to take full control of the 'fat-burning'.
Optimise the output. His main goal of weight loss is being handled by his diet. Doing endless cardio won't do anything other than waste time. Instead, we can use exercise to make him stronger, work on his core and use plentiful mobility drills to get all of his muscles and joints feeling like they did 20 years ago.
That is exactly how I think about nutrition and exercise.
An input and an output.
Explicitly interrelated, yet can be dealt with as entirely separate,
Simply, a different perspective on the matter. One which you may find helpful.