Are You 80% Cookies or 80% Spinach?

October 23, 2013

Believe it or not, 80% of your body composition is what you eat.

One of my favorite teachers John Garey, founder of John Garey Fitness & Pilates in Los Angeles, put it best when he said,

“Great abs are made in the kitchen not in the gym.”

He added, “It doesn’t matter if you work out for 3 hours if you go home and dump the entire refrigerator into your mouth!” It’s easy to just think exercise, exercise, exercise but we can’t leave food out of the equation.

By eating right you can be a healthy weight without exercise. Now, don’t get me wrong, you DO need exercise to challenge your muscles, protect joints from injury, tone your physique, and maintain many systems of the body including your bones, cardiovascular system. One additional benefit of exercise is that it builds muscle mass which can increase metabolism, burning more calories even when resting. There are too many benefits to exercise to list here!

What I’m saying might sound shocking coming from a fitness instructor. But I succeed at my job when my clients succeed with their goals. I know that what I’m teaching them only counts towards 20% of their body composition, so I have to help them get the resources to deal with the other 80% which is diet.

If you are not a nutritionist or dietitian, than giving dietary advice is outside the scope of your practice. I recommend networking to find some referral relationships. Look for practitioners that seem to have similar approaches and philosophy to yours. Also look for a practitioner that’s willing to work with you as a team for your client. Food is personal and hard to talk about but you can encourage your client to begin a dialogue.

We all need to ask ourselves, “Am I 80% Cookies or Spinach?”

Of course, I aim to be 80% spinach. Like Popeye, I want to recharge my superhuman strength with powerful foods. I want to eat foods that make my entire organism perform better, feel better, and live better.

Holly Furgason Fit for Real & Blue Sparrow Pilates

  • Avatar
    Elektra Ditto
    February 18, 2014 at 4:35 am

    I found this article important and interesting because it makes one think about everything they put into their bodies. I’m sure everyone myself included, would rather be 80 percent veggies rather than 80 percent refined sugar; and just because you exercise all the time does not mean that you can eat whatever you want. Being in great shape comes out of a combination of diet and exercise not just one or the other.

    • Holly Furgason
      Holly Furgason
      February 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      That’s right! You must look at diet + exercise! It’s the old adage you are what you eat.

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