Have you ever heard the expression “You can’t train away a bad diet”? If not, you NEED to know it’s the truth! Unless you’re a marathon runner, a professional athlete, or someone who does manual labor 8+ hours a day, the exercise you do every day won’t be able to keep up with poor diet habits. Understanding this will help you change the way you approach eating and food in general!
How many calories can you burn in one hour of exercise?
Resistance training, maintaining your heart rate above 125 BPM = 750 to 1000 calories
HIIT training = 600 to 900 calories
Sports = 400 to 800 calories
Swimming = 500 to 700 calories
Low-intensity aerobics (jogging, cycling, elliptical, etc.) = 300 to 600 calories
Running = 400 to 800 calories
Not bad, right? If you push yourself to your limits, you can burn a pretty decent amount of calories per hour.
Food Gives You Way More Calories
How many calories are in your favorite foods?
1 slice of pepperoni pizza = 200 to 400 calories
1 single-patty cheeseburger = 300 to 400 calories
1 chocolate-glazed donut = 400 calories
1 can of soda = 100 to 150 calories
1 Grande Starbucks vanilla latte = 250 calories
How many of these things do you eat in a day? Just one cup of coffee and a donut will negate most of the hard work you did in an hour of resistance training, and that’s just in 5 minutes of a morning pre-work treat. Imagine how much more you end up eating throughout the day!
As you can see, no amount of exercise can make up for a bad diet. You can easily eat more in a single sitting than you could burn all day long.
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Lack of exercise and activity has been blamed for a lot of the modern health problems. After all, people spend more time sitting down, so their inactivity is slowing their metabolism and causing them to gain weight.
But that’s not quite true. The real culprit isn’t a lack of activity—it’s overeating of the wrong foods.
Protein builds muscle. Fat, though high in calories, increases the feelings of satiety and encourages the activation of stored fats. Are carbohydrates then the real enemy?
No, not all carbs. Carbs rich in fiber (fruits and veggies) are great sources of energy while still being rich in vitamins and nutrients. It’s empty processed carbs—high in calories while containing very little fiber and other nutrients—that are the real threat.
Sugar is the #1 enemy of good health. Sugar calories promote fat storage, as sugar is quickly turned into glucose and transported around the body. When your body can’t use the glucose immediately, it turns it into fat to be stored for “later”. When you never call on that stored fat because you get enough food all day long, your body fat increases.
Worse, sugar also increases your hunger, and specifically food cravings. You want to keep eating more sugar because your body becomes dependent on the short term “high” caused by sugar. Sugar is as addictive as nicotine and cocaine, but it’s much subtler and more insidious.
For every additional 150 calories of sugar (which is found in a can of soda) consumed per day, our risk of diabetes rises 11-fold. And that’s not even thinking about obesity or heart disease! Exercise will have little to no effect on our health because we’re eating the foods that significantly increase fat storage.
So, the key to good health is simple: cut back on calories—more specifically, calories of sugar. That means reducing the amount of fast carbohydrates you eat, including pasta, pizza, bread and white flour. Stick with healthy, complex carbs like whole veggies and fruits, whole beans and lentils, etc.
But most of all, cut back on all processed sugar!
If there is a sugar-rich food in your diet, get rid of it. Look for sugar-rich foods in your life: soda, juice, fruit drinks, sweetened dairy products, cereals, snacks, cakes, baked goods, candies, and more. The ONLY sugar you should eat is the fructose in raw fruits. Everything else is just going to add to your daily fat storage, leading to a higher risk of obesity.
That doesn’t mean you can slack off with your workouts, of course. You need to keep training hard and pushing your body every day; that’s the only way to speed up your metabolism and burn stored fat. But to stop your body from storing MORE fat, it’s time to eliminate dietary sugar!
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