You Can't Out Train A Bad Diet

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

I was having a discussion with someone recently, who shall remain nameless, and we were talking about how they were putting on weight, or struggling to maintain their weight. And their natural conclusion was that, it was because they weren’t working out as much as they were before. On the face of it, that makes sense, they’re not getting the calorie burn they were getting previously with exercise. But my question to them was, why do you need exercise to manage your weight?

You can’t out train a bad diet. If you need exercise to manage your weight, then your problem is with nutrition. Here it comes again, but you are consuming too many calories. Really, what should be happening is you’re fuelling yourself with extra food to exercise. Let’s say your weight is currently stable. Now, if I were to take away that exercise, the amount of food you’re eating should drop too, because you no longer need it to fuel those workouts. And your weight should stay stable. If your weight goes up, then clearly you’re eating too much, and you don’t know how much you’re meant to be eating without exercise. You really ought to have a rough idea, and you should be anticipating times when you won’t have that extra workout bump in your life.

You have to think about the variables in your life. What is more likely to change, food or fitness? You’re always going to eat, and for most of us, that doesn’t alter wildly from day to day. Most people will eat similar things, at similar times, in similar amounts. There may be occasional changes, but on the whole, it’ll be pretty routine. Fitness, however, well that can be a minefield. You could get ill or injured, your gym could close down or you move further way from one, you could lose your free time you dedicate to it, you might be too stressed with other things for it to be a top priority, or you might just stop being bothered to do it. Food is the variable you have more control over, so that should be your focus, and anything you do on top of that is a bonus or wiggle room.

Stop thinking about exercise as the way to manage your weight. It may be a way, but it’s certainly not top of the list, and you certainly shouldn’t have to rely on it. The way you think about exercise should be more about, shaping your body once your good nutrition helps strip away the body fat, keeping yourself flexible and strong, and staving off the effects of ageing. Food is for body fat, fitness is for muscle mass. That’s the mindset you should have. See you next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer