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Can You Outwork a Bad Diet?: The Relationship Between Exercise and Nutrition For Weight Loss

One of the most critical questions people face when they decide to lose weight revolves around a simple rationalization — “Since I’m working out more, that means I can eat whatever I want…right?” In other words, because you are working out more, you assume (or at the very least, hope) that you can still keep the same diet you have grown accustomed to because of the increased activity.

However, the adage that you can’t outwork a bad diet reigns supreme. If you continue to eat the same way you did before, you can’t work out long enough to burn through the excess calories that your current diet generates. 

What Constitutes a “Bad” Diet?

Calling any diet “bad” is an oversimplification of a complicated question. The quality of the food that we ingest directly impacts our energy, how we recover from intense workouts, and how we prepare our bodies for long runs. The science behind what we eat, when we eat, and how we eat affects several parts of our daily lives. It can be challenging to make the adjustments needed to make a significant and sustained change in your weight-loss journey. Overeating overly processed foods with added sugars can be indicative of a less than ideal diet. 

Can I “Outwork” My Current Diet?

Our misperceptions often skew the relationship between the calories we consume daily versus how many calories we burn during workouts. People often underestimate how many calories they take daily, partially due to nutrition labels (or lack thereof) and misinterpreting what constitutes a single serving size. They also overestimate how many calories they burn in a single workout.

This relationship helps fuel the notion that they can go home and eat whatever they want as a reward for a job well done after going through a vigorous workout. In reality, that moderately intense workout burned between 300-400 calories over an hour, while the fast food stop on the way home consisted of roughly 1000 additional calories. 

How Do I Strike the Right Balance?

To experience the most benefit from a weight loss plan, you have to balance your activity and nutrition efforts. However, you want to find a diet that fits your lifestyle, prove sustainable over the long term, and complement the workout program you started. For most people, the weight-loss equation’s nutritional side is the most challenging part of understanding and changing. With the help of the Vitality Weight Loss Institute’s nutrition counseling, you can gain a better understanding of how your nutrition directly impacts your efforts in the gym. 

For more information about our weight loss or exercise programs, reach out to our team today!

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Services we Offer

Weight Loss Program

The Vitality Weight Loss Program is a nonsurgical, medical program individualized to your specific needs and offers a comprehensive nutrition course, personalized meal plans, and behavioral therapy classes – all included!


Nutrition Course

The Vitality Nutrition Course is the only nutrition course in the country jointly written by an internal medicine physician who specializes in weight management and a cardiologist. Learn how to reverse your medical problems though food today.


Psychology of Eating Course

The Vitality Psychology of Eating Course is written and delivered by experts to help you understand WHY we make certain food choices. We help you get to the root of understanding the relationship between our minds and our plate.

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