General sayings and quotes are pervasive within the fitness community. Some do a great job of giving the public some guidance, while some in my humble opinion lead to more confusion. I address one of these sayings in this article which has to do with nutrition being the key to fitness success for everyone.
The real answer is one that will irk some.
It depends …
Without a doubt, for some people, eating a diet which includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean cuts of meat and poultry and healthy fats from oils, legumes and nuts. But for others, consuming a diet which is less "healthy" by nutritional standard, but exercising 5 to 7 days per week, produces the exact results they wish to achieve.
The point is, every one of us should be eating as healthy a diet as we can for general health, to try to stave off any dis-ease, and for optimal performance. The degree to which the diet or exercise becomes the primary focus of a person's plan is really a matter of experimentation to find the right balance between the two long-term.
The key is long-term.
Listen, it is difficult to eat meticulously 100% of the time for most people. Long-term health is not about exercise vs. nutrition, it's about making consistent choices which promote well-being and optimum performance. Work is going to get in the way sometimes. School will get in the way. The kids may get in the way. There are many, many factors which will come up that have the potential to knock you off balance on occasion. The goal is though, to try to make sure that 90% of your meals are contain the foods we talked about above, and to take it easy on yourself when you have to eat a meal which isn't quite so nutritious.
If you focus on this and not whether exercise or nutrition should consume your energy and focus, you'll generally achieve any goals you may have and live a healthier lifestyle.Begin by getting in plenty of vegetables with each meal. Colors matter! So, try to get in all the colors of the rainbow maybe not each day, but certainly each week. The colors of fruits and vegetables come from specific phytochemicals and phytonutrients which not only give the food its color, but also provide us with nutrients and intermediaries to serve as catalyst to many bodily functions.
Whether you are a Vegan or not is a matter of personal choice form most people. There can be food allergies and intolerances to both meats and certain vegetables and seeds and nuts. You do though, want to make sure you are getting in enough protein over the course of the day to satisfy you unique bodily needs primarily from whole fresh foods, and secondarily from protein supplements if you are unable to get them in via whole fresh sources.
Also get in healthy small amounts healthy fats and drink plenty of water and non-sugary drinks and you'll do quite well.
If you are doing all of this and weight loss is still a problem, then further digging into the proper amounts of foods being consumed and possibly hormone dysfunction may need investigation.
Experiment and find the right balance for you.