You can't outrun bad nutrition

Posted by juggernautPT on February 23, 2015

You can't outrun bad nutrition

Ever known someone to constantly give themselves permission to indulge their sweet tooth just because they just had a great workout!  It’s a common excuse. Many people believe that because they exercise, they’re in the black as far as their calorie input/output.  But in reality, this sort of thinking is a sure road to body composition failure. Most people with a lean body and a 6 pack didn’t get that way by constantly rationalizing their way to the desert buffet.

Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day, often severely underestimating when asked to take a guess at it.  But they also overestimate the number of calories they burn.  The truth is, 30 minutes of the best boot camp in town will not cancel out that burger and chips!

Do the math

Let’s look at the hard numbers.  An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour.  That’s an hour of hard work with plenty of sweat and hard breathing. 

Now say on the way home from the gym, you decide to grab a couple of donuts from Krispy Kreme.  After all, you’ve earned it!  In the 3 minutes it will take you to put away two chocolate frosted donuts, you’ve consumed roughly 720 calories (an no nutrients of value). All your hard work is wasted, plus you’ve provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat! 

Or maybe you just want to have some pizza and soda with friends.  You consider the 600 calories you burned running on the treadmill for an hour today (at 10 miles per hour—that’s a really fast run for a really long time!), so you eat 4 pieces of pizza and a coke.  No problem, right? 

Wrong.  You just downed 900-1,000 calories in about 10 minutes!

Now imagine this is part of your constant routine... Is it really worth it?

Face the facts

The bottom line is you simply can’t out train a bad diet.  If you try to spar a bad diet with exercise, the exercise will lose every single time.  The only way to lose weight and get that lean, sexy, healthy body that looks great in anything (or nothing) is to eat healthy matched to your goals and the activity you do each week.

Your weight loss is driven by nutrition and maintained by exercise.  The only way to get ahead in the calorie game is to eat fewer calories than you burn.  Only then will you begin to see the fat melt away.  Exercise builds muscle and can rev up your metabolism, but you won’t lose weight if you continually eat more than you can metabolize. 

This is not to say that exercise is not important.  It is!  In fact, according to Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 

“When you look at the results in the National Weight Control Registry, you see over and over that exercise is one constant among people who’ve maintained their weight loss.” 1

Want to keep the weight off?  Exercise!  Exercise is crucial.  And you must combine it with a nutrition plan matched to your activity if you want to shed kilos. 

Start smart

Have you been trying to outrun (or lift) your diet?  Don’t be discouraged; many of us have been guilty of this.  It’s time to rethink your weight loss strategy.  Try the following tips to start fresh and recreate your body!

Plan, plan, plan.  The only way you are going to get control of your diet is to plan ahead.  Do not let yourself get hungry with nothing healthy prepared to eat; your will power will plummet and you will reach for a snack that will set you back.  Keep food ready in your refrigerator that you can grab and heat quickly.  And don’t leave the house without cool water, nuts, whole fruit, and other pre-made snacks (you'll find a new one each week in this very newsletter).  You may also choose to use a prepared meal delivery service.

Lift weights. When you start losing weight, you must protect your muscle.  If you begin to lose kilos without  resistance training, you will likely lose your muscle mass.  Also, after an intense weight lifting workout targeting the majority of your muscles, your metabolism increases for up to 39 hours after you are finished.  And repairing that muscle tissue after lifting requires energy, enough that it will eclipse the energy burnt in even the toughest of workouts! 

Get some accountability.  We’ll strike this note again and again:  you need a partner.  Remember, the single biggest determiner of your fitness success is whether or not you have an accountability partner.  Find someone to trade food journals with and report on how you are doing with your will power. 

You need both exercise and appropriately matched healthy nutrition (with a longer tem focus) to be lean, strong and healthy.  Don’t neglect either one!


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