You Can’t Out-Train A Bad Diet

The phrase “you can’t out-train a bad diet” is one I often use to a client, when emphasising the importance of a healthy eating plan where weight-loss is the main goal.

I’ve lost count of the number of clients who have no problem pushing themselves to their limit during their training sessions but whose diet let’s them down and doesn’t allow them to reach their goals.

During initial consultations with new clients I focus on the individual’s current diet and lifestyle and see which areas are most in need of change. This tends to throw up the usual suspects like too many carbohydrates, too little protein/vegetables, not drinking enough water and long gaps between meals.

By asking the client to simply change 1 thing at a time, a big improvement can be made to the diet in a relatively short space of time. And a big improvement in weight loss will follow.

This was shown to me again, very recently, when I had a consultation with a new client. This man’s goal was to re-habilitate a back injury in order to allow him to take part in a climbing expedition. The injury had prevented him from training – apart from a few hill-walks – over the previous 3 months. And yet in that time he managed to lose 18 pounds.

So how did he manage to do it? The answer is by improving the quality of his diet. But more specifically, by drastically reducing the amount of carbs that he ate, and by increasing his intake of protein and vegetables.

And for those of you who are thinking that this is very extreme behaviour, I can assure you that this individual did not turn into a raving, carb-hating Food Nazi. He kept to this disciplined routine only from Monday to Friday but cut himself a bit of slack at the weekend, when he treated himself to some scones or toast and had a few beers. Though not necessarily all at the same time.

This approach is in direct contrast to some clients who dread the weekly weigh-in at the Bootcamps. Usually they mutter something about having a bad/not great/terrible weekend as they reluctantly step on the scales. Although their nutrition and lifestyle diaries will show that they may have trained as many as 7 times during the week, it does not prevent their weight from increasing. And their weight increase is not caused by a huge increase in muscle mass either.

As mentioned above, the problem is usually one of, or a combination of, the following: too many carbohydrates, too little protein/vegetables, not drinking enough water and long gaps between meals as well as lack of quality sleep.

So if you’re serious about losing some body fat, make sure that you’re placing more emphasis on the nutrition side of the equation because you won’t out-train that bad diet!

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