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Exercise Doesn’t Work

Well, I should say exercise alone doesn’t work.

I am not an expert on <em>nutrition</em>. When clients ask me what they should be eating, I can only draw upon my own personal experience and my informal study of nutrition for body composition change as well as sport performance. Lately, it has been my main study focus just because I personally find it very interesting. Besides my study material for the CSCS, my biggest source of study has been the plethora of information presented by Dr. John Berardi on the Precision Nutrition website: www.precisionnutrition.com. I learn something new and valuable every time I log on.

nutrition meal

Shrimp and Cabbage Salad

It’s not possible to out snatch a doughnut. In other words it’s not possible to out train poor nutrition habits. But I had no idea how ineffective even hard training becomes when a person doesn’t nourish intelligently. I am referring to a study conducted at the University of Texas on 100 previously sedentary individuals with an average body fat of 35-40% , which is considered obese. They were put through three resistance training sessions per week with a weightlifting coach and two high intensity interval classes per week. They were instructed not to alter their dietary habits at all. After 12 weeks, guess what the overall average weight loss was? 1 POUND OF FAT! What!? Yes! In fact, they actually ended up gaining weight because they lost one pound of fat but gained two pounds of muscle with a net difference of +1! That’s pretty disturbing, but more importantly nothing can speak louder to the importance of diet and nutrition in combination with exercise in achieving your ideal body composition, weight loss goals or strength and performance goals.

But where does one go to find proper nutrition advice? If you walk into a bookstore you will find dozens upon dozens of books from varying degrees of “experts” on what you should and shouldn’t eat. A lot of these books will completely contradict one another. Worse yet, the magazines you see at check out lines promise you crazy things like losing 10 pounds of fat in one week without exercise if you basically starve yourself or live off cayenne pepper and cinnamon for a week. If it sounds to good to be true, than most likely it is. Go to a reputable professional. In my opinion, Dr. John Berardi is unmatched. Not only is he highly respected and endorsed by many of the most influential thinkers in the fitness industry, his nutritional plans are based on sound science and experience. Also, he manages to make eating well simple. His philosophy is that nutrition is complex, but eating right is simple. Basically, you don’t need to understand the science you just need to follow a smart plan 90% of the time.

Here are his five basic rules for better nutrition that you can implement right away:

  1. Eat every 2-3 hours.
  2. Include a lean protein in every meal
  3. Include a vegetable in every meal
  4. Save carbohydrate heavy meals for after exercise
  5. Include a good balance of healthy fat in your daily diet.

Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, sport performance or a combination of these or other goals, I highly recommend the Precision Nutrition Plan. For more information on each of the rules above and to check the Precision Nutrition Plan out for yourself please visit: www.precisionnutrition.com. I have been informally following the PN Plan now for about a two weeks, but I have finally broken down and subscribed to the plan for enhanced sport performance reasons. I’ll document my progress here once I get started on the official plan!

Danyelle Berger CSCS, RKC

Baltimorekettlebells.com

Baltimore Martial Arts
Catonsville, MD, 21228

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About Gary Berger

Sensei Gary Berger+1 graduated cum laude from Towson State University with degrees in Biology, Psychology and Animal Behavior. Mr. Berger abandoned a future in science to pursue his true passion: the martial arts. He and his wife, Danyelle Berger, jointly own the Baltimore Martial Arts Academy in Catonsville, Maryland.
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