Posted by: EAT AND NOT BE MERRY | 2006/04/03


Dear Doc

It is hard to eat healthily all the time, but I do try. If you exercise and your diet is not perfect, is it pointless? What I am really asking is can you shape up by exercising but not eating 100% correctly? Or does it just take longer, or is it an exercise in futility excuse the pun!

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi there

Not at all. No one can have a perfect diet and perfect exercise routine - the pointless part is trying to be perfect. I think that the best thing is to eat correctly wherever possible, to exercise regularly, but to set yourself long term goals. By setting your goals long term, you are saying that on average, during a period of maybe 6 months to a year, you are exercising well and eating very well. However, there may be a day or two every couple of weeks that you don't exercise, you may be sick or you may go out for a dinner where you do indulge yourself, and that's fine, provided you are consistently eating well.

Of course, this is not an excuse to eat poorly every second day, and then exercise like mad to justify the bad eating. And it will take longer, the more you alter the diet and eat too much, or indulge. But again, the key is really to make it a lifestyle choice, and so on the whole, choose the healthy options, exercise well and then in the long run, you will see progress.

But I'm certainly not averse to the odd big eating trip, or a week off from exercise - in fact, I think that they are healthy, in the long run!

Good luck

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