Can You Out-Train a Bad Diet?

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Claudia Virgil, Bikini Competitor and Team Max Athlete

I’m sure you’ve heard many times “you can’t out-train a bad diet” or “80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise.” So, why do people still try to fight against these two common sayings? Are these really true?

Here is why the two are absolutely true to most individuals. Unless you have an insane amount of time on your hands to work out all day or you have a freakishly high metabolism, you cannot out-exercise a bad diet! What you consume daily should be a priority in reaching your fitness goals.

Dieting is much more effective than exercise because it takes a lot of activity to burn 500 to 700 calories through working out. Not very many people have the time to spend that many hours working out!

I hear this all too often where people think that just because they crush a good workout or run several miles they can treat themselves to an indulging meal. You’d be surprised how many calories can be ingested within one meal versus the amount you burn in your workout.

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In order to lose weight, you MUST be in a caloric deficit. On average if you set a goal to shed 1 pound per week, you would have to be in a 3,500 caloric deficit per week. I think where a lot of people make their mistake is that they assume that they burn 3,500 calories on a weekly basis just though exercise. Therefore, they feel justified in rewarding themselves with food. In order to burn that many calories, you’d find yourself working out seven days a week for approximately 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on your metabolism. That’s a lot of working out and nearly impossible if you work full time and have a life outside of the gym.

So, how do you truly achieve your weight loss goals? DIET, and there isn’t much room to squeeze in indulgences on a daily basis. I hear this often as well: “I worked out and ate great all week and only cheated over the weekend.” How could five days of hard work and only two days of treating yourself not bring results, right?

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Well, let’s say for example that you treat yourself to a cheeseburger, fries, soda, and dessert. This single cheat meal can easily add up to 2,000 calories, which is more than a whole day’s worth of food. The average intense 1 hour weight training with 30-minute cardio session burns approximately 500-700 calories (ballpark estimate). Can you see where there really isn’t much room for bad dieting?

That’s not even touching on alcohol or that lovely morning Starbucks. A couple of indulgences can put your hard work of being in a deficit back in maintenance mode or even a surplus of calories! This is where you find yourself on a roller coaster, struggling with weight loss.

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The best approach to have is truly learning balance and embracing a healthy lifestyle. With a healthy diet, your taste buds and mindset change over time. You develop longer periods between cravings and they lose their power so you can have the right balance and keep on track. You must have the will to change your approach with food to make this lifestyle work because you cannot out-exercise a bad diet!

By Claudia Virgil, Trainer and Team Max Athlete