Do you exercise for vanity or sanity? I used to exercise for vanity – I thought it would make me look better. I thought running marathons would give me a bikini body. Ha! Lies! Running just made me crave more carbs. But, it did make me feel fantastic.
If your stated fitness goal is, “I want to look hot in a bikini. I mean, yeah, I want to be healthier too, but whatever,” then the solution you are seeking is really in the kitchen and not the gym. You can have record breaking WODs at Crossfit, but no one will be able to see your strong muscles if you have a snuggly layer of fat covering them up.
My diet of choice is Clean Eating, which is eating unprocessed foods. That means you cook your own food, and when you shop you stick to the perimeter of the grocery store purchasing lean meats, produce and egg whites. (Stay away from the middle aisles where the Hamburger Helper and Doritos live.) To grow lean muscle mass you eat 6 times per day with a mix of lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates, vegetables and a little healthy fat and fruit. Following the clean eating/bodybuilding lifestyle helped me lose 50 lbs. and I’ve kept it off for over a year now, so I’m a fan.
While extremely effective, following the meal plan described above can be very difficult. It’s a lot of cooking, you’re eating constantly and you really have to limit your trips to restaurants and fun things like alcohol and sugar. Some of my friends have found success with other plans, such as Weight Watchers, Paleo Diet, Vegan and the South Beach Diet. The important thing is to chose a plan that you can commit to that will fit with your lifestyle.
So vanity goals = food solution. Want sanity? EXERCISE! According to this article in WebMD-Exercise and Depression:
Regular exercise has been proven to:
Exercise also has these added health benefits:
- It strengthens your heart.
- It increases energy levels.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It improves muscle tone and strength.
- It strengthens and builds bones.
- It helps reduce body fat.
- It makes you look fit and healthy.
Personally, I have a nice combination of vanity and sanity goals. Exercise makes me feel good and eating clean makes me look good. How about you? Do you exercise for vanity or sanity?
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