Why you Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet
There is a common belief among people that if you work out, you can eat anything you want without getting fat. It is a comforting thought: eat a whole pizza and then head to the gym to make up for it. Unfortunately, there is no way you can burn enough calories through exercise to make up for bad eating habits. An unhealthy diet contains foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. “Consume excess calories, and you have to counterbalance them,” says Sara Haas, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “And it’s hard to get enough exercise in to undo the calories you’ll get in a double cheeseburger with French fries and a milk-shake.”
Many people have no idea how many calories they take in on an average day and often underestimate it when asked to guess it. At the same time, they also overestimate the number of calories they burn. Let’s look at the numbers. An average, moderately intensive workout will burn 300-400 calories in about an hour. If you decide to eat a couple of donuts after the exercise, in few minutes, you will consume 720 calories. All your hard work is wasted, plus you have provided your body with several hundred extra calories to store as fat.
The only way to lose weight and get lean, fit body is to exercise and eat healthy food. Don’t forget that a combination of carbohydrates and protein is what you need to recover after a workout. Also, consider that your body needs adequate carbs beforehand, so you have enough energy to work out. Keep in mind that super low-calorie diets are just as harmful to your workout plan as diets with excessive fats and calories. If your body does not receive enough calories, it will start burning your muscles to produce energy. When you consume excess calories, they head right to the trouble zones. Even if you gain muscles in these areas, they will be covered by a layer of fat. Lastly, abs exercise alone isn’t enough to decrease your body-fat percentage or abdominal fat. If you want that six-pack, you’ll have to get both your diet and workout in order.
If you want to improve your nutrition, focus more on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. And remember, great nutrition does not only guarantee a loss in weight, but it also affects every aspect of your life; mood, sleep, and even your appearance.
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