The Effects of a Poor Diet on Exercise

The Effects of a Poor Diet on Exercise

You can’t out-exercise a poor diet.

One of the most popular resolutions at the entrance of a new year is to lose weight.   Gym memberships skyrocket, treadmills and other exercise equipment find their way into homes (and quickly become coat racks), and for those of you in warmer climates, new running shoes are donned and new run/walk goals are set.  Yet while getting physically fit with exercise is great, why do most of us ignore what we consume?

When I worked in corporate, I overheard 2 young ladies discussing exercise and struggling to lose weight all the while sipping on Venti Iced Macchiatos with Whipped Cream.  I could tell you the conversation, but I think the previous statement emphasizes their counter-productivity.

I hear many people say that they work out all the time but never seem to lose that much weight, if they lose any at all.    The poor dietissue doesn’t lie with their workout routine, the issue is what they consume when they’re not exercising.    A healthy lifestyle is a combination of diet and exercise, with the bulk of the emphasis on diet.  In fact, most diet experts agree that weight loss is directly attributed to 80% diet and 20% exercise.

A good friend of mine explained it this way:  “If you eat a whole pizza and run a Marathon, you’ve still eaten a whole pizza. I burned close to 2700 calories during the race…you do the math.”   I’ll do it for you: 8 slices of pizza = 2600 calories.  Total burned: @ 100 calories.

The Effects of a Poor Diet on Exercise

It’s pretty simple – to effectively lose weight, you need to burn off more than you consume.  Let’s illustrate this (Runner’s World has a nifty “calories burned” calculator that made this example easy. ):

  • Exercise: 5 mile run
  • Time : 1 hour (@12 minute mile)
  • Weight: 200 lbs
  • Total Calories Burned: 756 

Now let’s say you decide to go to Starbucks for an after-run reward with a Grande Caramel Latte:

  • 450 Calories, 55 Carbs – That’s more than half of what you just burn in 1 medium beverage!

Or maybe you’re a snacker:

  • 10 Doritos = 150 calories – and that’s assuming you stop at 10.

The biggest mistake we make is that we think that if we exercise, we can eat anything we want.

Reality Check

poor dietThe definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  If you truly want to be “fit” or “healthy” and actually lose weight, you need to start paying attention to what goes in your mouth post workout.   At first, a diet change is extremely frustrating because you are halting the consumption of what your body and taste buds crave.  But once your body is cleansed of this “crap”, it will no longer crave it.

The reality is that you need to start making better choices.  Throw out the chips, ice cream and cookies.  Dump the soda. Get them out of your house now.  Replace them with yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables and water – sure that is an unpopular choice, but the alternative is counterproductive.  If you exercise for an hour and then consume the same calories you just burned, you are maintaining your weight.  I’m not saying that you need to stop having treats now and then, but the emphasis needs to be placed more on “then”.



Leave a Reply