Underdog Blog


Why You Can’t Outrun your Fork and What to Do About It

20% exercise and 80% diet

It’s okay to admit that at one point in your life you thought to yourself, ‘’what’s the point of sweating it all out in the gym if it doesn’t allow me to stuff my face with ice cream?’’ Or better yet, you’ve found yourself staring at a delicious slice of chocolate cake, and thought ‘’if I eat this now I’ll just workout more later’’. This is called the ‘burn and refuel’ mentality, and it’s the most common misconception holding people back from achieving their fitness goals. Unfortunately, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Even if you hit the gym day in and day out, a poor diet will hinder any significant changes to your physical body and capabilities. The old saying that fitness is 20% exercise and 80% diet rings true. So if you’re hitting the gym everyday seeing little results, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s on your fork.

High calorie diets more dangerous than smoking

There’s no questioning how important exercise is for physical and mental fitness – staving off heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. What’s surprising is that experts have determined high calorie diets to be more responsible for poor heath than smoking, alcohol consumption, and a lack of physical activity combined! It’s the high presence of excess sugar and unnatural carbohydrates in diets that are causing an obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes, increasing the risk of developing heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. Nobody can outrun a bad diet, not even athletes.

Calories are not created equally

But it’s not simply about creating a deficit in the number of calories in versus calories out. Certain foods trigger our bodily hormones differently as calories are not created equally. Everything you put into your body sends signals to your hormones to either store or burn fat, increase or break down muscle mass, and boost or decrease your metabolism. Think about it like this – food is sending your body information. Your body is going to react better to the information received from kale, rather than cupcakes.

Match you diet to your training

It’s easy to say that if you want to see real fitness results, your diet must match your training. But at the end of the day we’re all human and humans aren’t perfect. If you’re eating healthy about 85% of the time, allow yourself to indulge in moderation the other 15%. Moderation is key. Having one cookie isn’t going to derail your week of progress, just like eating one salad isn’t going to give you rock solid abs. If you are able to eat cleanly 100% of the time, all the power to you! But for the majority of us, restricting our diet too much can actually cause us to reach breaking points that lead to binging and choosing all the wrong foods to feel a sense of satisfaction. By allowing yourself to indulge in moderation, you’re giving yourself a greater chance to stay on track and see long term results.

It’s important to keep in mind that good eating habits are the cornerstone for health, longevity, and overall fitness. What you eat is much more important than how hard you work it off. You can’t control everything in life, but you can control what you put in your body.