Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

Avoid Fitness Sabotage: Why You Can't Outwork a Poor Diet

People love food, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s seasoned to be tasty. It’s readily available. And much of it is quite cheap. Those all sound like positives, right? The problem is that so many of the foods people eat and drink are too sweet, too salty, calorie-laden, don’t sate hunger, and fail to fulfill their nutritional needs. This is especially counterproductive for people who are trying to do the right thing by exercising regularly to stay healthy and strong.

Much of what people eat and drink is more "edible concoctions" produced by industrial processes than food. I’m referring, of course, to ultra-processed foods that are intentionally formulated with chemical additives to enhance flavors and encourage binge eating. Fast food and even many plant-based concoctions are included. Generally, ultra-processed foods are not something a person can or would make in their own kitchen. They’re mass-produced to sell to the masses.

UPFs are so prevalent in people’s diets now that they make up the majority of calorie intake in both the UK and the US. So, instead of eating mostly whole, fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, chicken, fish, and meat, many of them are fueling their bodies primarily with edible concoctions full of ingredients they can barely pronounce and don’t understand. I wouldn’t doubt that this is true in other countries as well.

But this Pep Talk is not for the masses. We already know that the masses are not committed to staying in shape. Today’s message is for those of you who put in the time to exercise consistently and frequently.

Remember this first principle of fitness: you can’t outwork a poor diet.

Nevertheless, people try to all the time, and it comes down to a failure to delineate what should be treats enjoyed occasionally from healthy dietary staples. In other words, they consume treats as staple parts of their diet, which inevitably sabotages their efforts to stay in shape. We can see this with professional athletes who believe they can eat as much of anything they want early in their career, only to realize later in their career that their poor diet has measurably and prematurely diminished their athletic performance.

But enough about the problem. There are some surefire ways to improve poor dietary habits, and they’re not difficult, especially if you’re serious about prioritizing your health and fitness.

(1) Buy fresh, raw food at the grocery store and prepare meals in your own kitchen.

(2) Drink more water and fewer artificially sweetened beverages.

(3) Add more fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and beans, to your meals.

(4) Stop eating everything deep-fried you can get your hands on.

(5) Remember that alcohol is toxic to your body and moderate your intake.

(6) Cut down on eating sweet and salty snacks you find in the inner aisles of the grocery store.

The framework above is neither complicated nor extreme. I don’t believe in telling grown men and women what they can’t eat, and I don’t believe that approach is realistic for most of you. Sometimes I too enjoy eating or drinking something that’s not beneficial to my health and fitness. You can eat whatever you want, but just be intentional about the proportions of what you’re consuming and how frequently. This is why I recommend that you "cut down" and "moderate" where it makes sense. The key is to keep treats in their proper place.

UPFs may be tasty, plentiful, and cheap, but I encourage you not to think of them as real foods that nourish your body. If most of your diet consists of quick, edible concoctions and sweet drinks, start doing the six things above to retrain your palate and eat in a way that aids your efforts at staying fit for life.

Sayonara until next time.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.