10 Essential Food and Fitness Habits

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1- Cravings are not always psychological - Sometimes we crave things because our body wants a certain nutrient. Take for example a sugar craving, it is probably your body asking for some fruit as it knows on a deep level that it is full of vitamins and minerals. Cravings can also be down to faulty eating habits – Like being programmed to want dessert after dinner every night, this is up to you to break and choose a better option.

2- Exercising cannot make up for bad eating - You cannot out run or out exercise a bad diet. Something you can eat in 5 bites could have enough calories to take a 40 minute run to burn off….. The video below sais it all.


3- We need calories - Dieting for any prolonged period can take its toll on your body, hair gets dry, mood plummets, we feel cold, sex drive disappears and we just feel bad. The truth is we need sufficient calories to function, basically we need enough food. This will keep our metabolism high and our hormones flowing. I highly recommend this free e-book if you have struggled with adopting this mindset and need more information on amping up your diet.

4- Looking and feeling good is mainly nutrition - Well at least 70-80% nutrition the rest comes from keeping active and having a healthy social life. Poor nutrition can make us feel terrible, the problem is sometimes we do not realise how bad we feel until we start to feel better. Good solid nutrition is the linchpin on which you should base your health…..

5- Strength training is essential - A solid strength training workout every couple of days is enough to capture the benefits. This could be a body weight circuit, plyometrics or some weight training in the gym, it is up to you. Stretching should be the foundation with additional strength training to supplement, stretching can go a long way to improve protein synthesis as well as depleting muscle glycogen and getting rid of fat stores. This combination will increase your metabolism and improve your bone density, plus you will look a lot better…..

6- Movement is essential - The healthiest people are those who move, this doesn’t have to mean sport and regular “exercise” but just moving. Things like walking, biking around or gardening, anything that will get you up and about which will signal your body that you are a healthy active person…..

7- Food is best unprocessed and in its natural state - Think wholefoods rather than a specific style of eating. So long as what you eat is unprocessed and in its original form you cannot go far wrong. Eat more fresh and local produce when you can…..

8- From time to time break the rules - We cannot stick to a perfect diet all the time. In fact it is good to sway from eating “healthy” every now and then firstly for our sanity and secondly because it can also work in boosting leptin and keeping your metabolism healthy. So sometimes just eat whatever you like…..

9- Spend time with people you like - Health and Fitness is not all eating healthy and working out, having a good social life is also hugely important. Surround yourself with people who you like and feel comfortable around.

A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. - Lois Wys

This also counts with family, the stronger the social support network you have the better. This does not always mean quantity, usually it is better to have 1-2 close friends than a pool of distant one’s……

10- Listen to your body - With age I think we all eventually learn to listen to our bodies. You will probably start to pickup on little things that make you feel better, whether it is eating a certain type of food, getting 7 hours sleep or working out at a specific time of day. Just be patient and try to read your bodies signals of what feels right.


  1. says

    I just tweeted about this post–it’s awesome! I’ve taken all ten of these suggestions to heart during the last two years and it has really changed my health and my life.

    I like how you put the “cravings” tip first. I think most people still associate cravings with willpower, when often that’s not the case. Sugar cravings could mean there’s an underlying neurotransmitter deficiency, a magnesium deficiency, or a variety of other things. When it comes to cravings it helps to think outside the box and try to address what the real issue is. And that has a lot to do with #10 as well.

    @ Elizabeth: I forgot about the magnesium issue completely, it is very true that the cravings run deep. Listening to the body definitely goes hand in hand with the cravings but unfortunately it is not always too easy to figure out and usually just comes with time and patience…..

  2. Karen says

    This is a great post. Time and again I struggle to teach people they must EAT to lose weight. I hear over and over, “I only lose weight if I eat under 1000 or some other crazy number.” I try to find gentle but firm ways to make them see that perhaps that is why they have been unsuccessful at losing the excess pounds for years and years.

    I highly agree that nutrition plays a major factor in how you look and feel. It is so very important.

  3. says

    The good news about some cravings actually being bad habits is that we can replace bad habits with good ones!

  4. George says

    That video is rubbish.

    Here’s why.

    The ‘typical’ person who is unfit would burn a lot more calories (as they are heavier) – so the comparison between a fit (and light) person and Brad is meaningless.

    Secondly, far more calories would have been burnt if the treadmill had been at an incline. I am 100kg and can burn 35 calories a minute by going up a steep incline.

    Thirdly, a lightweight, vegetarian, low carb pizza against a heavy person doing a high incline treadmill would have been better.

    Fourthly it totally ignores the after-effects of the treadmill i.e. it’s a 4 minute tabata style workout so more calories would have been burned during the day.

    The point is the same – i.e. you cannot outtrain a poor diet but it is very poorly made.

  5. says

    Great post. The first point is definitely something I didn’t really consider but makes a lot of sense.

  6. says

    Well said Chris – great info here.
    I really would like to pick up on no.2,3,and 7.
    Over recent years, I have noticed a shift from people getting afraid of snacking almost (due to the wrong message being spread by so many mainstream diets).

    I really think you can still enjoy snacking (we need th calories to funciton as you say) whilst still eating unprocessed food…

    I’ve shared my best 5 healthy snack foods in my latest article – http://www.lmdfitness.com/nutrition/top-fivehealthy-snacks/

    Would love to hear what other healthy people snack on!


  1. [...] 10 Essential Food and Fitness Habits 9- Spend time with people you like – Health and Fitness is not all eating healthy and working out, having a good social life is also hugely important. Surround yourself with people who you like and feel comfortable around. Excellent article by Chris over at zentofitness.com [...]

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