Four Ratios of Food and Fitness

Use These Four Ideas to Balance Exercise and Calories

Not exercising and eating a lot means the scale goes up. But did you know that it’s also unhealthy to workout more and eat less?

Say whaaaaaaat!?

Finding time for fitness is hard enough. Then add traditions like counting calories and meal prepping and you’re ready to pull your hair out. It seems impossible to keep your head above the water.

Relax, take a deep breath! There is a way to keep it simple!

Keep reading to learn about the four ratios to fitness…

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The Math, Simplified

  1. Eat More, Train Less - Bad

2. Eat Less, Train More - Bad

3. Eat More, Train More - Good

4. Eat Less, Train Less - Good

Depending on how often you exercise and how strenuous those workouts are, you will need to eat accordingly.

Ratio #1: Eat More, Train Less

This is the classic example of an unhealthy lifestyle. The person who eats more calories and barely exercises, if they do at all. This combination means you will add unwanted body fat.

If a person doesn’t exercise very much and has a sedentary job, they don’t need to eat very much to maintain energy during their daily activities. This can even go for the avid exerciser as well. If there are days where you don’t plan on training, you don’t have to eat as much food. It’s ok.

Ratio #2: Eat Less, Train More

You may be thinking: “Wait a second, isn’t this how I lose weight!?” Yes and no. More exercise, less calories is effective to a certain extent, but keep in mind that healthy weight loss is slow and steady.

To lose weight you do have to be in a caloric deficit but that only works in short stints. We’ve had members follow restrictive meal plans for months at a time. They were effective in the beginning and the person is happy! Then 6 months later they’re upset that the diet isn’t working any more.

Your body needs calories for repair and daily activity. If you’re working your butt off to lose some of your unwanted butt, you have to plan to eat a little more on those days to keep the process sustainable.

Choose 4-8 week blocks that may be more calorie restrictive, then back off for 8 to 12 weeks.

Ratio #3: Eat More, Train More

If you’re someone who is working out A LOT, you’ll need more calories than someone who doesn’t. Eating more will ensure that your energy levels stay up, you can keep up with your training schedule without burning out and you’re fueling your muscles.

This feels like the toughest pill to swallow for most members because they’re so used to Ratio #2. Eating more got them to this place in the first place, so why would it work now? We get it but we still need you to try eating a little more. A little more protein. A little more vegetables. Even a little more carbs. How’s that sound?

Ratio #4: Eat Less, Train Less

Say you’re someone who usually exercises frequently but is coming off of an injury, pregnancy, surgery or simply has a bad week and you have no time to workout. In this scenario, you’re moving less and therefore don’t need to eat as much.

Awareness is the key here. Be cognizant of lulls in your training routine. Maybe there are weeks you lift less on purpose or you run a few extra miles. Eat accordingly. When we get in the mindset that eating is important to sustain our exercise frequency we get blinded by our ambition and we end up over eating. One week of over eating isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you’ll have to pivot if it’s a prolonged period of less activity.

If this whole equation seems abstract and too complex, that’s okay! Like we said, this is a simplified version of these ideas. Of course a lot depends on your own body and how it works. Make sure to talk to a coach or find someone you trust with your fitness and nutrition goals. To simplify the process even further, get a good amount of sleep, eat nutritious foods, move your body often and find a way to de-stress daily.



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Have Your Candy and Eat It Too

Are you still a Toys-R-Us kid? You don’t want to grown up? Do you still enjoy all the Halloween candy you’ve loved since your mom handed you held that plastic pumpkin?

Halloween marks the start of a turning point for people who are on the fence about fitness. They get bombarded by Halloween candy.

Weeks later Thanksgiving is knocking at the door.

Do you want us to even mention the Christmas season? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The road to your goals shows a left turn up ahead? What are you going to do? Lock yourself in a closet until the candy is gone? The fact is a lot of us let this time of year become a downward spiral of treating ourselves. Then, 5 pounds heavier, we’re pissed for letting ourselves go.

What if you didn’t have to crush the Toys-R-Us kid inside you?

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At Results Driven we’re all about sensible strategies for exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. This doesn’t have to be the start of your health and fitness goals falling to the wayside. With some restraint and planning you can enjoy a little bit of candy and not let it start the cascade that leads to a new years resolution.

We know how those go.

Here are some tips for managing the halloween binge!

1… Candy After Exercise

Candy is a carb. Think of it as a sweet potato in a wrapper that has no nutritional value. The cool thing is we can use the same principle we use for managing our carb intake no matter the type of carb.

Our general recommendation for managing carbs is to enjoy them after a workout. While exercising, your body uses the sugar reserves in your muscles for energy. Post-workout we want to have a starchier carb to get sugar back to the muscles and aid in recovery. Therefore, treat your candy like a sweet potato and enjoy it after your workout.

There you have it! Eat candy after your workout. The sugar can help you recover but, mind the next tip!

2… Understand the What You’re Eating

How much sugar is in the candy you chose?
What’s the serving size?
How much fat is in that little morsel?

Just because we said you can have candy doesn’t mean you can cue the dump truck pulling out of Hershey, Pennsylvania. You still have to be smart about it.

Women should have around 30g of carbs after a workout, men should have between 50g-60g. So do some research. If you want candy have it after a meal and consider it your starch. Also…

3… Don’t Pair with Alcohol or Another Starch

You now know the amount of carbs in your post workout meal. Try not to exceed the recommendations above with that meal. That means don’t pair that candy with alcohol or another starch.

Steak, spinach, potatoes, and candy. No!
Steak, spinach, beer and candy. No!

Remember earlier when we said, “Sensible,” that applies here. Don’t double up. Choose the candy, starch or alcohol and stick to it.

4… Have Candy with a Meal

It’s been an underlying part of this entire blog but it’s worth stating the obvious. Don’t eat candy by itself.

A big part of our entire nutritional approach is what we call, “Crowding out the negative.” Instead of telling people, “Don’t eat carbs,” “Don’t eat dairy,” “No alcohol,” we want to encourage them to introduce a lot of beneficial foods into their diet instead.

“Drink more water.”
“Have protein and vegetables with your meals.”
“Eat frequently.”

This way we’re tipping the scales back towards, “healthy,” without the emotional jump of cutting out a lot of the foods you might like (think cheese, pasta and beer).

Have candy with a well balanced meal that contains a protein and a vegetable. A palm sized portion of protein for most ladies and two palms for guys. A fist of vegetables for ladies and 2 fists for guys.

5… Move More

The last thing we’d recommend is make sure you move, then move a little more. Can you get in an extra day at the gym? Can you go for a walk on lunch or after dinner? Can you make time for a morning routine?

This concept goes hand in hand with crowding out the negative. Refined sugar is damaging to the body so you should do as much as you can to offset the effects. A little extra movement never hurt anyone.

The First Step to Fitness is Tough… But RD Has Your Back!

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Don't Lean on the Scale: Measuring Body Composition

You treat the scale like you’re testing a sink hole.

One toe… tap, tap…

Whole foot. Second foot. EYES CLOSED. OMG. OMG. OMG.

People don’t like to use the scale or measure their progress in general because they’re scared to get the bad news. Even when they’re doing everything they can and they’re making all the best choices, they’re still scared.

One toe… tap, tap…

The fact is we’re at the gym because we’re already getting bad news. The doctor tells us we need to lose weight to be healthier. Our clothes aren’t fitting the way we want. Our body feels like crap.

Change is an emotional process and a lot of subjective observations leak into the process. Numbers are the only way to objectively way to see if the choices you’re making are working. Hopefully combining trial and error with measurement leads to success. Then, repeat.

What are our recommendations for measuring your fitness and fat loss journey? Check them out below!

1) Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis Machine


This is our #1 choice for measuring body composition. A machine like this measures body fat mass, muscle mass and water in your body. This gives us the best insight into the actual changes that you’ve made.

Hopefully your local fitness facility has one. If not, maybe a doctor or nutritionist has a similar machine that’s more sophisticated than just a scale.

2) Circumference Measurements

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If you don’t have access to a fancy scale there are still options!

Our next best recommendations would be circumference measurements of your right arm, chest, waist, hips and right thigh.

Contrary to popular belief a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, muscle just takes up less space. If you don’t see the scale moving, but your measurements are changing, you can rest assured that you’re on the right track.


3) Scale + Waist and Hips

Our last recommendation still includes measuring something besides the scale. If you don’t want to ask for help in measuring your right arm, chest, waist, hips and right thigh, measure your hips and waist and track your numbers on the scale.

Using this method, we’re still not relying solely on weight to measure the changes in your body.

No matter what method you choose to measure progress remember that change comes from consistency. Not seeing changes in the first few weeks is normal so don’t get discouraged. There are numerous benefits that come from exercise from increased energy to better mood and sleep.

To keep you sane makes notes of the small changes you feel to keep you motivated when the ultimate goal still feels like it’s out of reach.

Also keep in mind that:

Your weight can fluctuate 3-5 pounds on a daily basis.

In the beginning of the fat loss process, people lose fat, gain muscle and become more hydrated “negating” any change on the scale. In that first month you may be down 3 pounds of fat, up a pound of muscle and 2 pounds of water. The scale would show "no progress."

The scale is a poor indicator of progress but using it along with these other tools will give you the extra information you need to know what you’re doing is working!

The First Step Isn’t Easy, But Results Driven Has Your Back!

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