Why can’t you out-exercise a bad diet? When losing weight or staying in shape, our minds automatically point to movement and exercise. It sounds simple—just train and burn all your extra calories. After that, you’re free to put whatever you want on your plate, right?
A healthy lifestyle has many key components that go hand-in-hand to create an improved version of you—one of which is better nutrition. A bad diet consisting of fast and processed foods will only bring you down, no matter how many hours you spend at the gym.
Exercise is important, but we can’t solely focus on it to practice a healthier lifestyle. Here are five reasons why you can’t out-exercise or out-train on an unhealthy diet:
You Won’t Burn Enough Calories
Have you ever eaten an entire box of pizza with about 1000 calories and justified it by telling yourself you’d work it off at the gym tomorrow? We’ve all experienced a version of this. But in reality, you’ll probably only burn about 600 calories even after an intense workout.
It’s tempting to eat whatever we want, but the fact remains: it’s so easy to consume a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but it’s extremely hard to burn them.
The key is to eat complete, minimally processed foods that improve satiety while being low in calories, such as whole grains, veggies, and lean protein.
Occasionally eating pizza is okay, and you don’t need to feel guilty or disappointed in yourself. There’s nothing wrong with occasional indulgence! Simply modify the remaining portions of your daily or weekly consumption to ensure that you remain within your calorie deficit. Of course, increasing your movement will enable you to eat more calories than you otherwise would.
You Won’t Be Able To Perform Well
If you want to see a difference in your physique or tone your muscles, you’ll need to do some intense exercise. However, if your nutrition is inadequate, you won’t have the physical stamina to persevere through challenging workouts. The rule of thumb is that a good diet equals good performance.
A chocolate bar and a fizzy soda may give you a sugar rush that you mistake for energy, but they won’t give you the fuel you need to set a personal record. Also, if you eat high-fat meals in the evening, they can disturb your sleep, making you too exhausted to work out at the gym.
Strike a balance! You’ll need a combination of carbohydrates and protein to recover after exercising. Be careful not to consume too much fat as this will equate to a lot of calories, which will only promote the rapid accumulation of excess weight. Extremely high carbohydrate or fiber intake is another dietary hazard to watch out for during training. These could cause some annoying stomach problems and impair your performance.
Generally speaking, try to get about 30% of your diet from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat.
You Won’t Want To Exercise
Sticking with unhealthy foods that won’t give your body the nutrition it needs will only make you feel sluggish and less motivated. So whether you’re consuming too much fat, too many calories, or not enough of either will affect your motivation to exercise.
Think of your diet and exercise plan as a feedback loop. When you eat well, you are inspired to exercise, and when you move, you are more motivated to eat better.
You’re More Likely To Get Sick or Hurt
A bad diet means you do not have enough nutrients to support optimum eye and vision health. Bad eyesight leads to many complications within and outside your body. We rely on our eyes a lot when we exercise or train, so just imagine the world of low-pain vision or blurry vision will bring.
Of course, it’s not just your vision getting the short end of the stick. Low-carb and low-fat diets can be psychologically taxing and negatively affect heart health. A chronic low-carb diet may lead to micronutrient deficiencies and increased inflammation throughout the body, making you more susceptible to injury.
Not getting enough healthy fats may increase your risk for overuse injuries like stress fractures and tendonitis.
You Will Experience An Increased Appetite
Do you ever feel hungry after working hard at the gym? This is natural because your brain signals to your body to consume more to recover after exercise. The tricky thing about this is that if we don’t replenish with the right foods, we will end up ingesting more calories than we need.
So avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, and breakfast cereals! Although they include calories, they lack the right nutrients your body needs to make you feel full. With these foods, you’ll end up constantly feeling hungry.
Suitable post-workout meals that are high in nutrients include:
- Whole-grain bread, rice, or pasta
- Protein sources such as spinach, poultry, and protein shakes
A Healthy Lifestyle Doesn’t End With Exercise
Yes, exercise at home helps maintain weight loss, but a nutritious diet is what actually makes it happen. Start small if you’re trying to break the bad diet cycle. Even the little changes in what you eat count. Start by adding an extra serving of veggies to your plate, drinking more water, and avoiding processed meals and drinks when possible. Sooner rather than later, you’ll start seeing the results you want.