A combination of proper diet and exercise: It is hard to get fit without a proper diet, says expert. Image Credit: Pixels

Dubai: If you really want to be fit for life and maximise the effects of the Dubai Fitness Challenge this month, it will take more than the 30-minute exercise that you’re putting in daily now.

But we guess that you already know it — that proper diet goes hand in hand with exercise.

The question, however, is if you’re actually doing it and if you’re doing it right.

Image Credit: Gulf News

Gulf News spoke to Juliot Vinolia, Clinical Dietitian, LD and Head of Dietary Services at Medeor 24x7 Hospital, on the importance of proper diet and exercise to maximise their fat burning effectiveness, the best pre- and post-workout snacks, misconceptions about “dieting”, and the little tweaks needed to make choosing healthier options become a way of life.

Regardless of how hard you’re exercising now, if you’re not paying attention to what your body needs, it will just compound the ill effects of your lifestyle on your health, Vinolia said.

“It is hard to get fit without a proper diet, as stamina and endurance are solely fuelled by food and water intake. Studies have shown that healthy weight loss is influenced 70 per cent by diet and 30 per cent by exercise,” she told Gulf News.

Nutrients like Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Calcium serve as catalyst for the breakdown of fats. A diet lacking these nutrients can result in low energy levels, body aches and weight gain.

- Juliot Vinolia, Clinical Dietitian

Some vitamins are also needed to support fat burning.

“Nutrients like Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Calcium serve as catalyst for the breakdown of fats. A diet lacking these nutrients can result in low energy levels, body aches and weight gain,” Vinolia said.

Currently, according to her, there is a steady rise in more young people lacking fitness and having chronic fatigue due to inappropriate meal timing and food choices.

But this can be easily addressed by taking a diet power-packed with nutrients with the right amount of calories. A nutritionally adequate diet has to become an essential part of a fitness programme as it is needed for steady metabolism, fat breakdown, building lean muscle, maintaining hormonal balance – insulin, thyroid and immune system.