YOU CAN'T OUT-EXERCISE A BAD DIET

Most of my clients are surprised when I tell them, that they’ll recieve a nutrition plan, with their training plan. They try to negotiate: „I’ll try to follow it”. My answer is always the same: „Don’t worry, I’ll know wheather you stick to the plan or not”. Then I start my explanation: at first, you get better from session to session, no matter what. Why? Because the first couple of weeks of training is caracterised by mostly neural adaptations – meaning that you learn to use your existing muscle mass more effectively, and so you become stronger. Maybe even your physique will change a bit – but not too much. After the initial improvements, your strength can increase without a solid diet plan, but your physique will not. 

Wherever we look, we hear: exercise more! That is true, the more you train (up to a point), the better you will feel, look, etc. But! No exercise can make up for a bad diet. Let’s see why! 

First, a little bit of mathematics: 

1. What is your daily energy expenditure = caloric need? Even if we lie all day, our body needs energy to function. This is our resting energy expenditure. The amount of REE depends on our age, weight, height and sex. If we train 5-6 times a week, than we should increase our energy intake. If our REE is 2000 kCal/day, and we train 6 times a week, we should multiply that number with 1,6. That equals 3200 kCal/day while training heavy! 

2. How many calories can we burn during exercise? Running a marathon (42 km) burns around 2600 kCals. That’s a lot, but it’s not 10.000 and it takes 3 hours. Now, you can guess, how many calories are burnt on a treadmill during a 40 minutes jog… You won’t burn a 1000 calories, not even during a heavy weightlifting session. 

3. How many calories can you eat in one sitting? Well, 1 liter of coke is 400 kCal. Popcorn (100 g) another 400 kCal. A Friday night cinema, with 1 liter of coke and 250 g of popcorn equals 1400 kCal. If you eat properly throughout the day, you just probably went over your daily energy expenditure with about 1000 kCal. After the film, you throw in some beer, 210 kCal each. Let’s say you drink 3 beers, another 600 kCal. End of the day, you’re in a 2000 kCal surplus. I hope you have nothing to do next day, because you have tor un a marathon to burn that… 

Of course, that was a bit narrow view of the real life situation of eating, exercising and dieting. I did that just to show, that there is a huge difference between the amount of calories you can burn with training, and the amount that you can take in with food. 

That’s why I say: you will never out-exercise a bad diet. 



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