The answer to this is simple > one which delivers consistent results in the most sustainable possible (by sustainable, we usually mean least taxing and restrictive).
If the routine adopted involves running all the time / doing loads of classes / training x number of times per week – yes, a lot of the right things are being done.
We’re moving – which burns up energy.
But if the routine doesn’t implement the main fundamentals – reaching goal weight is going to be very, very tough – this is where nutrition is so important.
‘You can’t out train a bad diet’ is very true – the main issue here is that people massively misunderstand what constitutes a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ diet.
A ‘good’ diet is one that properly fuels the body, makes us feel good and yields a result (weight loss, maintenance, or gain) – depending on the goal.
A ‘bad’ diet is one that doesn’t properly fuel the body, makes us feel bad and yields no/limited results (weight loss, maintenance, or gain) – depending on the goal.
Notice how stuff like ‘sugar’ and ‘clean food’ isn’t part of the greater definition.
Sugar in the diet, for example, is not inherently ‘bad’ or ‘good’ in any way shape or form. It’s only ‘bad’ depending on the context that it’s being judged. Here’s an example:
Individual over eats relative to what they burn, they gain body fat (storage of excessive energy intake), continued elevated sugar (carbohydrate) intake in this instance can be perceived as ‘bad’ – purely because it directly correlates to increased fat storage. Does that make sugar ‘bad’?? Absolutely not – consistent over feeding (of anything and/or everything does).
On the contrary, if the individual consistently under feeds relative to what they burn and are dropping body weight, elevating sugar (carbohydrate intake) is in no way, shape or form ‘bad’ – the body will snap up the nutrition and burn it directly for energy (because there is SPACE for it).
What about sugar, insulin spikes and fat storage? Well this is an area which is hugely misrepresented.
First off, people who:
1 > Are just out of shape and overweight.
2 > Don’t have hormonal issues (most people)
Can eat carbohydrates (sugar) to a large extent, shred body fat and feel great. It’s when this is taken out of context that ‘sugar’ is seen as doom and gloom.
Being overweight for a long period of time (years) causes damage (not irreversible) – this the ONLY place where sugar, insulin spikes and issues can be a problem. Everyone else – you’re all clear (more on this another time).
– No, sugar is not bad.
– No DIET is ‘bad’ or ‘good’
It completely depends on the context through which it’s being judged.
To state something pretty obvious here – foods that are highly processed usually aren’t great for the body – during processing important digestive enzymes can be destroyed which make digestion and/or absorption of the food difficult.
There’s a really simple system to tell whether eating a certain food doesn’t sit well – and that’s this:
Do we feel bad shortly after eating it? (diarrhoea, bloating, nauseous, gassy, headaches etc)
No? Then go for it (as long as it’s factored into the larger picture).
Easy – so don’t stress about certain foods unless they genuinely make us feel like crap and/or we know that it’s a guilty pleasure where ‘treating’ on it causes huge overfeeding (which a ‘good’ diet should have preventative measures for anyway).
This definitely does NOT mean taking the system to an extreme and obtaining the majority of your unique energy intake from foods with low overall nutritional value – chocolates, crisps, pizza, sugary drinks etc.
So if you’re about to jump down my throat here – saying that I’m promoting people to eat crap – don’t bother, because I’m not.
What I’m saying is this – a ‘good’ diet clearly:
> Yields the result you want (weight loss, weight maintenance, weight gain)
> Supports the body properly
> Fuels the workload
> Makes us feel energised and focused (good)
> Causes no digestive issues
> IS NOT restrictive and biased towards certain foods over others.
> Ultimately, provides the freedom to enjoy the foods we love in moderation.