Don't Diet in 2019 - Reason #25: Diets make you hate exercise

“I exercised once. It nearly killed me.”

Exercise and diets seem to go hand in hand. When we’re dieting, we’re exercising. When we’re exercising, we’re dieting. And if we’re not exercising or dieting…we’re pretty much doing nothing.

Diets are painful and exercise can also be pretty uncomfortable, so a dieter is often left with a horrible taste in her mouth for both.

To make matters worse, diets strip of you of energy, making exercise even harder. And let’s not forget that in the initial excitement at the beginning of a new diet and exercise program, we decide that a 60-minute CrossFit class is a good idea. Just like extreme diets create more problems than they solve, extreme exercise can lead to extreme soreness and even injury — especially if you aren’t well-conditioned.

Diets and exercise are associated with…PAIN. It’s no wonder so many people dislike exercise and struggle to make it a part of their normal routine! We need to break the association between exercise and dieting because exercise has so many benefits that go far beyond just burning calories for weight loss!

What should you do instead…

Anti-Diet Wisdom: Make exercise a part of your life and do it whether you’re dieting or not. Stop thinking of exercise as a means to burn calories. Start thinking about the real benefits of exercise: stronger muscles and bones, increased energy, improved mood, less joint pain, a healthier heart, an awesome feeling of accomplishment, and boosted confidence!

The great news: You don’t need to kill yourself in an hour-long spin class or vomit in a CrossFit gym to get the health benefits of exercise. In fact, studies show that just 10 minutes of walking per day can improve heart health, mood, and strengthen bones and joints. That’s doable, right?!? Every little bit counts…so don’t poo-poo any effort to get moving!

The three keys to making exercise a habit: start slow, choose an activity that’s enjoyable for you, and one that makes you feel good. Walking or hiking outdoors while listening to music is a great place to start — yes even in the winter! Bundle up, baby! Queue up a few songs on your phone and walk for 10 minutes every day. Once that’s a habit, increase the time or pace, or add in some strength training moves like pushups and squats.

No matter what you choose, exercise needs to produce some sort of instant gratification. Exercise needs to make you feel good now to make it stick. The idea of far off weight loss or health benefits often isn’t enough to keep us doing it. When you don’t set hard rules on how many calories you need to burn today, it leaves the door open to finding forms of movement that don’t make you miserable…and might even make you feel good. That’s the only way it will ever stick.


Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer

Learn more about the author here.