Here’s Why You Can’t Exercise Away a Bad Diet

You might be able to exercise away fat to have a certain outward physical appearance, but good health isn’t only how you look on the outside – it’s what’s happening on the inside, too. Why exercise won’t fix your bad diet.

The fallacy of exercise usurping diet

For some people in their youthful years, staying active allows them to eat practically anything they want without packing on any pounds. While a slim physique may make others envious, that alone is not a barometer of good health.

For people that have certain metabolisms, exercise does allow them to burn away those extra calories. They may have to work a little harder at times, but they can still win the Battle of the Bulge. However, as we age, for most people, this ability diminishes and the amount of work required gets harder and harder.

Secondly, the bad eating habits that could be offset with exercise, not only lead to weight gain but also begin to take an effect on the body in the form of diminishing health and disease.

What exercise can’t give you

Some people are so concerned with their outward appearance, that they put all their focus on exercise and aren’t making diet a part of their fitness and health plan.

When you ingest an unhealthy diet, your body is storing certain types of nutrients away such as fats, salts, and other chemicals (especially those found in processed foods). This can later manifest as diet-related diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease, acid reflux, diabetes, and more.

While exercise can burn excess stored nutrients as fat, without a proper diet, the body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to operate at optimal levels, eMetabolic reports. In other words, the only way your body can get the right nutrition is by what you eat. You might look good on the outside, but your health could be failing on the inside. Eventually, what’s going on on the inside will manifest on the outside.

Exercise won’t make up for your bad diet

A British study looked at subjects aged 40-69 and compared their records gathered 10-11 years earlier to gauge how diet, exercise, or a combination of both impacted their mortality, the Montréal Gazette reported.

“We hypothesize that physical activity and diet quality are independently associated with lower mortality risk, and that high levels of physical activity, either in total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity or vigorous physical activity, cannot offset detrimental effects of poor-quality diet,” the researchers wrote. “Overall, there is no evidence for high levels of physical activity, measured as moderate-to-vigorous or vigorous physical activity, fully offsetting low diet quality in any of the analyses; neither was there evidence for a higher diet quality index fully offsetting a lack of physical activity.”