If you’re one of my clients you’ll often hear me say that you can’t out exercise a poor diet.

One of the oldest, most well-known health proverbs is that you are what you eat. We’ve all see it all over the internet, in newsletters, Facebook posts, on the back of busses, on your toothpaste tube…

It is so common for a reason though, and I see it be true time and time again.

Is it really that simple though?

Is it Really True You Can’t Out Exercise a Poor Diet?

Okay, that might be a mild exaggeration. But it’s no exaggeration to say your diet has a huge impact on your wellness.

Seriously, no realistic amount of cardiovascular work or strength training will progress you beyond that bowl of ice cream before bed. You’ll be really fit, but as far as getting leaner and more toned, poor eating with a lot of exercise equals slow or stagnant fat loss.

So Then Can You Lose Weight While Eating Poorly, but Exercising Rigorously?

Yes, especially if you just started exercising. However, your progress will slow to a crawl. So while you may technically disprove that you can’t out exercise a poor diet, is it worth it?

Our metabolisms are far more complicated than simplifying it with calories in versus calories out in relation to energy burned. Once you start looking at hormonal changes and macronutrient ratios, things become even more complicated. For example, as you build lean muscle tissue, your resting metabolism (the amount of calories that you burn when in a state of rest) goes up. Thus, you start to have more wiggle room in your caloric intake.

In Conclusion

Advanced aspects of metabolism are not the objective of this blog post. All I want you to take away from these paragraphs is to simply be very mindful of your eating habits.

It’s not a matter of, “Well if I eat this junk food, I’ll just go to the gym longer tonight.” It’s important that you realize that simple adjustments in your diet will have a much bigger “return on investment” than 15 extra minutes on the treadmill.