You Can’t Exercise Your Way out of a Bad Diet

I used to think I could eat whatever I liked because I exercised everyday. It was a nice idea in theory, but who was I kidding? An hour of moving dumbbells around wasn’t going to offset the slab of chocolate I’d eaten for breakfast. (Never mind the pizza I had at lunch or the three beers I drank for dinner.)

I was in my early twenties at the time and nutrition wasn’t foremost on my mind. I’m a lot healthier nowadays, but until recently my late night snacking habit was still in full swing. I was working out like a demon though, so no harm no foul, right?

Um, no. The truth is, the harder you train, the better you have to eat. When you’re putting your body through its paces at the gym or racking up mileage on the road, you’re asking a lot of it. It’s going to need a serious nutrient top-up in return.

A bag of Reece’s Pieces for breakfast isn’t going to aid the recovery process. And for that matter, neither is eating a plate of cookies after dinner (even if they are vegan). Your body needs to be free from junk so it can work on digesting the good stuff you’ve eaten.


It doesn’t matter if you’re an ultra-athlete or an aqua-aerobics enthusiast, you need to nourish your body. Choosing nutrient-rich foods over the kind of junk I was indulging in will keep the pounds off and you healthy.

Nutrient-rich foods are high in vitamins and minerals and generally lower in calories than their processed counterparts. Focus on incorporating more plant-based whole foods into your diet and eat the ‘fun stuff’ (donuts, pizza, etc.) sparingly. You only have to look to the world’s oldest people to see how well this approach works.


Weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. Bah humbug, right? How cool would it be if we could eat whatever we liked and then offset the calories by going for a run. Sadly, that’s not how it works.

Holly Lofton, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and director of the weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center confirms this, “Essentially, you’d need to run seven to 10 miles a day to lose one pound a week.The average person can’t keep this up, especially without increasing their caloric intake.


Okay, so if diet plays such a big role in weight loss, do you even have to exercise at all? I mean, why not binge-watch the latest Netflix series and snack on celery sticks instead?

First, who even eats celery sticks? And second, it’s not a case of exercise or diet, the two go hand in hand. Exercise builds muscle, burns fat and improves bone density, while a healthy diet ensures you get the proper nutrients.

It does have to be all or nothing though. Aim to eat well and exercise well during the week and then take it a little easier on the weekend.

That doesn’t mean going crazy (I see you reaching for the family-size bag of Hershey’s Kisses). Indulge in a pizza or have an ice-cream, that’s what cheat days are for.

Then, when tomorrow rolls around it’s back to business as usual. You eat well, you break a sweat and you feel great. No more trying to exercise your way out of a bad diet, because we both know that doesn’t work.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock


natasha p
Past Member 27 days ago

healthy eating is a must.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara29 days ago

Adding muscle increases the metabolic rate.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara29 days ago

Would read better without all the brand names because we do not have those brands here so we have to try to guess. Is he talking about popcorn or chocolate for breakfast?

Cheryl B
Cheryl Babout a month ago

Great advice, thanks

Maria P
Maria Papastamatiouabout a month ago

Makes sense.

Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a month ago

Title seems obvious; think about what you eat.

Jose Maria O
Jose Maria Olmos Santanaabout a month ago


ANA MARIJA Rabout a month ago

Thank you.

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Bella . I see what you mean... Willie `s st0rry is unimaginable... on tuesday I bought a new Mitsubishi Evo after I been earnin $7881 this-past/5 weeks and also ten-k this past-month . this is really the coolest work I've ever done . I actually started 7-months ago and right away started making more than $77 p/h .


Amanda M
Amanda McConnellabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing