By LeAnn Thieman. This was originally published on LeAnn's blog.
If you’re trying to eat more healthfully or exercise regularly, researchers have a surprising tip: consider making both changes at the same time.
It may seem counterintuitive.
Changing diet and exercise habits both require time and motivation. But research has shown people have more success when diet and exercise are tackled simultaneously. A study at the Stanford University School of Medicine tracked groups of people trying to establish healthy habits.
One group added exercise, one group improved their diets, and one group made both changes. The study showed that people who worked on both exercise and diet at the same time had more success in meeting their goals.
One explanation for the success may be that the positive results build on each other.
“You’re going to feel better doing both,” researchers said. “If you’re focusing on just one, you might lose motivation and never get around to the other one. But if you’re motivated to make changes and do both, you can more quickly develop this healthy lifestyle that feels so good, you’re motivated to continue.”
A lot of people in the study came with low energy and low libido, and felt tired all the time. But by changing exercise and diet together, they experienced so many benefits — from weight loss to improved heart health, and from better sleep to an improved mood.
The two together can make a big difference.
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