Advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle can sometimes become overwhelming, with so many different guides to follow it’s hard to know what is most important. If you are wanting to lose weight, there are 3 key factors – good sleep, diet and exercise, but what is most important? Tim Robards, Sports Chiropractor and creator of the 721 Nutrition Program explains the answer.
This is a question that I get asked all the time, and I must say that it’s an interesting one because all three actually go hand in hand.
Consider yourself after an average nights sleep. It’s rare that you will jump out of bed ready to workout. In fact you’re more likely to keep hitting the snooze button and then wake up feeling just as groggy as you were at the first alarm. Consequently you then feel as though you are on the back foot for the rest of the day. Most of us will then turn to caffeine or sugar for comfort to get us through, then the viscous cycle begins again.
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But when it comes to which one is most important, lets deconstruct them and take a closer look…
When it comes to cutting out exercise, you could definitely still manage your weight if you balance your input vs output when it comes to fuelling your body correctly. However, if your diet turns into heavy comfort food and high sugar ingredients but you are still sleeping and exercising well, there is still a high chance that you could add on some kilos.
SO reverting back to the original question, if you had to pick one that was the most influential on weight loss, assuming the other two elements were mediocre, then your nutrition seems to come out on top being as it is the most responsible for either stacking the weight on or taking it off.
Having said that, the best way to maximise your weight-loss is to do all three, and to do it well! Here’s why:
Quality food and nutrition?
I think everyone knows that poor food choices can cause weight issues, lifestyle diseases and an overall poorer quality of life. Every cell in our body has a recipe (DNA) much like a cake mix. If we don’t have the right ingredients (from our diet) then our cells weaken and age quicker over time, and we don’t thrive. Quite simply, the saying ‘you are what you eat’ is actually spot on.
So on that point, I like to follow (and I recommend this to clients) to use my 721 formula when it comes to eating- 70% clean and whole food, 20% sensible and 10% relaxed. It’s very doable and easy for anyone to stick to, as it is not super restrictive.
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Exercise helps you to cope better with stress and it also stimulates your endorphins which are our ‘feel good’ hormone. It’s also important for helping prevent many lifestyle related diseases and it increases lymph and blood movement around the body to support a healthy immune system.
Intense physical activity can maintain sex hormones, boost libido and help men avoid erectile dysfunction. It also helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and aid a more restful sleep.
For starters, studies show that there is a link between a lack of sleep and increased incidences of obesity, diabetes and heart attacks. It’s also essential for proper growth and repair of muscle so its imperative for those who are exercising.
A good nights sleep also supports your immune system and may help to support sexual function whereas insufficient sleep in men has been shown to decrease testosterone which can also effect your ability to gain muscle and your overall well being