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Can you eat sweets all day, workout hard and stay healthy?

Text: Nicola Davidson; Photography: People Images

July 5, 2017

Can you out-train a bad diet?You’ve spent 60 minutes jumping and jiggling around in a high-energy aerobics class, surely you deserve a large pepperoni pizza after all of that? Unfortunately, that’s where you’re wrong. No matter how hard you train, it’s almost impossible to out-train a bad diet. Which means no pizza for you tonight. But why, exactly? 

So many kilojoules 

If you’ve just burnt 1 192 kilojoules in an exercise class, surely you can eat 1 192 kilojoules to replace them? Not exactly. Chances are, the meal you’re wanting to eat is a high fat, high carbohydrate one, which means you’ll most likely end up eating more kilojoules than you’ve just burned. What’s more, not all calories are created equal, which means that 1 192 kilojoules of pizza are very different to 1 192 kilojoules of grilled chicken, brown rice and veggies. 

Sustained weight loss is about kilojoules in versus kilojoules out, and about the quality of food you consume as well: healthier eating choices will fuel you better and make you feel better at the same time. And while you can get away with eating slightly more on an intense training day, incorporating unhealthy choices (i.e. that pepperoni pizza) into your diet should be more of a once a month than a once a week thing. If you insist on eating all the kilojoules you’ve burnt, you’ll only end up maintaining your current weight or even gaining over time. You’ve just worked so hard, why go and ruin it with junk food when you could build on your success with a healthy meal instead? 

You might end up quitting altogether 

Leaving aside the fact that eating too much unhealthy food will pack on the kilograms, and eating too little could eventually result in decreased muscle tissue, taking in the wrong types of foods could ultimately lead to you giving up exercise altogether. Too much of a bad thing could leave you feeling lethargic, listless and demotivated, causing you to put down your weights and pick up your remote. 

When you eat well, you feel well. When you feel well, you’re motivated to live well. So while the idea of a post-training pizza might be tempting, it could end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Give careful consideration to the physical and psychological effects of the foods you consume, and you’ll give yourself the best chance of living your healthiest life. While exercise is important, nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your weight down and your spirits up.  

Battling to train in the cold? You can do it! Here’s how to get through those winter workouts no matter the weather.

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Can you eat sweets all day, workout hard and stay healthy?

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