One of the things I have learned in recent years – it too me a long time to get there – is that your health and fitness cannot really be moved by exercise alone.

I always thought that I could be fit and not worry about my diet. It’s just a simple fact that this doesn’t work, if you are good on the exercise front but poor on the diet front, you aren’t going to make that much difference to your health span and lifespan.

You can’t binge on food and alcohol and exercise away the damage.

If you have bad dietary habits and you exercise that’s a whole lot better than if you have bad dietary habits and you don’t exercise.

But, overall, if you are forced to choose, I would say sort your diet and forget about exercising. I mean, you shouldn’t have to choose, and we don’t want to be in that position, but in a fantasy world, this would be the correct choice.

As soon as I started sorting out my diet, and took proactive steps to eat well and to cut out alcohol, my fitness changed.

My experience was strange, because I really enjoyed learning to cut out the harmful parts of my diet, I learned how to enjoy short bouts of hunger (it’s a natural state, after all). I actually found dieting, in the sense of lowering my calorie intake, getting my sugar level right down, and putting a line through most treats, quite easy. Maybe I am lucky, but I suspect it is a case of mindset, if you do it right.

So if you are both an exercise junkie and a foodie you are probably negating most of the exercise benefits in an instant. You have to learn how to diet, it will improve everything.