The importance of nutrition, as in what you eat, to your health and fitness isn’t big. It isn’t more than you think. It isn’t significant. Those words aren’t nearly strong enough. It is the number one priority. It is the biggest contributor. No matter what your goal. You want to lose fat? Food first. You want to gain muscle? Food first. You want to run a marathon? Food first. You want to climb a mountain, wrestle a bear or live to see your grandkids and actually play with them? Food First.
If you’re working out 3 hours a week and not seeing the results you want, spend 2 of those hours getting your food in check and one hour working out. It’d be even better if you could spend 3 hours working out and 3 hours on food. That’s 6 hours of the 168 you have in a week. That’s 3.5% of your week.
What does that mean? Well, if you have no idea, then maybe spend 2 hours researching, or meeting with someone who does know. Spend 2 hours making 14 meals you can eat throughout the week. That’s 2 a day. That will go FAR.
In CrossFit we base our whole training program on the hierarchy of fitness laid out in “what is fitness” by Greg Glassman:
The foundation of everything in your development as an athlete is nutrition. You are not a CrossFitter if nutrition is not your number 1 fitness priority. I don’t care how many WODs a week you do. I don’t care what type of shoes you have. I don’t care how much you’ve spent with Rogue Fitness. Nutrition is the foundation to EVERY health desire on the planet. Getting bigger, smaller, bulkier, leaner, faster, stronger, fitter. All either helped or hindered by your nutrition. There is no other option. It’s helped OR hindered. It’s making your progress better or worse. Period.
The relationship of working out and eating isn’t a positive vs negative relationship. Working out more or harder doesn’t give you more leeway on your nutrition. At least not if you want to actually look and be better. They need to work together, in a positive + positive way in order to see positive changes. I mean you don’t need to be a mathematician to know a positive + a negative gives you less.
Make it a symbiotic relationship. Not a reward/punishment relationship. Ate bad need to workout more or harder. Or worked out hard, now I get to reward myself. It’s an unhealthy relationship. One will always have to be the negative. Make them both positive. Make them work together. You worked out, so you should treat yourself with something that will help you recover and gain from that workout. Or you’ve been eating well, so your workouts should be extra successful.
If you’re not getting results, but you’re putting in the workout time, you’re spending your time wrong.