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Can You Out-Train a Poor Diet?
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Can You Out-Train a Poor Diet?

out train a poor diet

By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

When I work with clients, I can always tell when they aren’t following their nutrition plan. How? Because they aren’t losing weight. I hear the same excuse time and time again… “I’m training hard in the gym, why isn’t the weight coming off?” It’s simple, your nutrition is terrible. You can’t out-train a poor diet. You can lie to me all you want, but I know you’re lying. 

You see, it doesn’t matter how hard you work in the gym, you didn’t “earn the right to eat junk regularly.” Weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle don’t work that way. 

When you change your habits and lifestyle, you rid yourself of the excuses and start and end your day with action. That piece of cake is no longer tempting. You don’t think to yourself that you should spend an hour in the gym today so that you can have whatever you want to eat, and “it’ll balance itself out.” Nope. Sorry, you won’t see the results you desire that way.

Plain and simple (despite what you hear), you can’t out-train a poor diet. But let’s dive a little deeper to help you understand why.


crushing it in the gym

“But I Crush It in the Gym”

You can crush it in the gym all you want and see on your smartwatch that you burned 700 calories during your training session, but afterward, you went out on an ice cream binge and consumed 1,100 calories, what exactly do you expect? Just because you had a great workout and burned a bunch of calories doesn’t give you the flexibility to binge. You can’t out-train a poor diet and think you’ll see the result you desire.

Or better yet, I had a client who would train with me, and I know they were pushing themselves during our session, but on their way home, I found them pulling into McDonald’s and telling me at their next session that their nutrition had been on point (trainer’s always find out the truth).

As a personal trainer, I want to see my clients get results. We’ll take your money while you lie to us but know that you’re only wasting your own time and money — we get paid either way. So why not do everything possible to maximize your results? When you lay your head down in bed each night, you know you’re not dedicated to your nutrition, and you’re hoping that your time in the gym will fix your guilty pleasures. But again, you can’t out-train a poor diet.

The combination of a solid workout plan with a well-thought-out nutrition program is key. You need both — not one or the other. Sure, you could lose weight by changing your nutrition alone, but then you risk potentially losing muscle mass (which can slow down your metabolic rate). Muscle burns calories, even while at rest!

That’s why protein is talked about so much to help build and maintain lean muscle mass. You can’t out-train a poor diet, and the best way to achieve the best results possible is to put more focus into your protein intake. A simple way to ensure you get enough protein throughout the day is by using a protein shake. 

Something like MuscleSport Lean Whey would be the perfect addition to your nutrition plan. Why? Because it doesn’t take like typical protein powders, and it’s specifically formulated using the highest quality whey protein isolate and peptides to provide a massive 25g of protein per serving. Not only that, but thanks to the quality of the ingredients used, you won’t experience any bloating or gastric distress when consuming the mouth-watering flavors. 

But looking at training alone, you can put in the time at the gym and work up a sweat, but when your actions don’t match your ambitions (when it comes to what you’re putting in your mouth), your progress and results can suffer.


nutrition is success

Nutrition is Pivotal to Your Success

If you bust your tail in the gym for an hour or longer and you go hit the McDonald’s drive-thru on the way home and get yourself a Big Mac, fries, apple pie, and soda, you might as well just not even go to the gym. You are wasting your time if you aren’t committed. 

That might sound like a harsh reality, but the fact of the matter is when you are only half-invested into something, you’ll get similar results. Nutrition is your make-or-break component in the grand scheme of things since you can’t out-train a poor diet.

Again, it is a lifestyle change. I’m not saying it will be easy. I mean, heck, who doesn’t love ice cream, cake, or other delicious desserts? I’ll raise my hand. But I also know how much my health means to me. That doesn’t mean every once in a while, I won’t have a dessert, but it’s not a part of my daily nutrition or even something I truly give much thought to. 

You can experience the same feeling once it becomes a lifestyle. Your desire for things will disappear, and you’ll have a greater appreciation for the taste of healthy and nutritious foods.

The key is to look at food as a way of life. You need food to maintain health, feed your body, give it substance, and help it function properly. Too many people get caught up in eating for enjoyment or what is commonly known as “emotional eating.” You need to take a step back from these thoughts and understand the true purpose of why you consume food (and it shouldn’t be due to emotional eating). 



Calories in Versus Calories Out

Not all calories are created equal, but in totality, you can look at your total caloric intake for the day as a guide to how you should be progressing. If you are tracking your macros and calories and your daily intake needs to be 1,800 calories, but you’re at 2,300 after you remove your calories burned through exercise, what do you expect to see on the scale? Weight gain.

You can’t out-train a poor diet. If you want a simple way to track your nutrition, I suggest you download and use a free app called MyFitnessPal. It has everything you need to track your food throughout the day and make sure your nutrition is on point so that you can see the results you want. A poor diet can completely derail you from making progress and can cause many different health concerns and ailments.

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