You cannot outrun a bad diet

By Jo Cordell Cooper*

I RECENTLY had a conversation with a prospective personal training client, Louise**.

Louise was upfront with me and said she was not going to turn into a total “health nut”.

I was curious as to what a “total health nut” was and Louise informed me that it meant someone who ate a lot of vegetables and fruit every day.

All I could think was if Louise was not eating fruit and vegies every day, then what was she eating?

We chatted a little longer and although Louise was prepared to “work out like a demon,” I pointed out that she really needed to be eating a nutritionally rich and diverse diet before training to see results.

Louise needed to understand that a good workout required good food as fuel, and exercising while still consuming a bad diet was counterproductive.

There are claims that some exercise routines burn 600 calories in one hour (the equivalent to working off quite a large meal).

But let us look a little closer at what is required here.

You cannot burn 600 calories for just participating in such a workout.

You can only do this if you, as Louise says, “work out like a demon” and for what is arguably an unsustainable amount of time.

For many people, working that hard for more than one workout a week is totally unrealistic.

There are better ways to do this.

How to get the most out of your workout if weight loss is your goal:

Get your heart rate up (self assess – it should feel somewhere between strong and very strong).

Interval training is very good – let the heart rate rise and fall, rise and fall.

Do something you love – otherwise you will make excuses to not do it.

Underestimate how much you burn off – 600 calories is unlikely if you are new to exercise (300 to 400 calories per hour is more realistic).

Aim for active breaks, rather than coffee breaks.

Move daily – walk, bike ride, garden or clean the house.

There are a number of variables like age, the amount of lean muscle you have, fitness level and your current body weight that determine how many calories you are burning off when you exercise.

Most people overestimate how much exercise burns off and underestimate how much food is consumed.

Look at your food as a key component of your weight loss strategy.

And remember, you cannot outrun a bad diet.

For more information contact Jo on 0409 862206 or activesolutionstas@gmail.com or visit her website www.jocc.com.au

*Jo Cordell-Cooper owns and operates the award-winning business Active Solutions and Health Network that specialises in women’s fitness at all ages and stages.

**Name changed for privacy

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