Why Can’t You Out-Exercise A Bad Diet?

It’s a nice, comforting thought: eat a whole pizza tonight and head to the gym for 45 minutes the next morning to make up for it (which tends to not happen, let’s be honest).

Unfortunately, out-exercising a bad diet doesn’t work for a few reasons, the main reason being it takes a lot longer to work off the energy in junk food than we may realise.

To understand this better HuffPost Australia spoke to Jessica Spendlove, accredited practising dietitian and athletic performance dietitian for GWS Giants, Cronulla Sharks and Giants Netball.


Why can’t you out-exercise a bad diet?

“Put simply, it is much easier to over-consume or eat excess energy than it is to burn it off,” Spendlove explained.

“Weight gain is caused by an increase in energy intake compared to output, and most people may not really understand how energy dense foods can be and how much energy you actually burn during exercise.

“For example, a person could eat a 1,000 calorie meal in 5–10 minutes, but it would take them much longer than 60 minutes to burn off (probably closer to 90–120 minutes).

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