When speaking men interested in improving their health, a common question is “can I eat what I want as long as I exercise?” That’s understandable; for many people – men and women – motivating yourself to exercise is hard enough. And once you’ve exercised, why shouldn’t you reward yourself with something tasty? Indeed, we’re spoken in our blog previously about how it can be good to motivate yourselves with the promise of rewards. Only 5 miles to that burger van… Only 5 miles to that burger van… Unfortunately, if you want to (a) stay healthy, and/or (b) lose or maintain weight, the answer to this question is a regrettable ‘no’. Believe me, with my sweet tooth, no one is sadder than me about this. So why can’t we burn off a bad diet? Well, while we are not doctors here at the Blue Ribbon Foundation, the answers are fairly easy to find and understand. Firstly, fundamentally what you consume has a major effect on your ongoing health. If you eat lots of saturated fat, sugar, salt, a modicum of green vegetables, and drink beer like it’s going out of fashion, then hitting the gym each day is not going to undo all that. In fact, that kind of diet is going to make it increasingly hard for you to exercise, as your weight and various health complaints increase.
Building a better you Building a better you Imagine your body as a factory with an assembly line producing all your movements, moods and physical appearance – your ‘Man Products’ if you will. In this analogy, exercise can help the machinery run faster, more efficiently; it’s like you’ve had the mechanics in, or updated the assembly line with a new operating system. If you don’t maintain the machinery, it’s going to break down, so exercise is always necessary. Now for the products. You need the raw materials for the products, which in this (hopefully not too stretched) analogy are what you eat and drink. If you put the best raw materials and ingredients in, the final products will be much better – you’ll be more likely to be able to produce GoodSkin TM, SunnyDisposition ©, and AlertnessMaster (patent pending). But if you skimp on quality raw ingredients, your factory is going to produce shoddy products, regardless of how well oiled the machine is. Plus, the poor quality ingredients are going to start gumming up the assembly line, making temporary shutdowns more likely – illness, in case I’ve lost you in the analogy! Hopefully your body factory doesn’t produce a spare tire… Hopefully your body factory doesn’t produce a spare tire… So, fundamentally, living healthily has to combine a mix of the two – eating & drinking good things and regular exercise. While that is a challenge for us all, there are some useful tips out there that can help. A couple of examples I’ve seen recently are from Daily Burn as well as a recent BBC News article on how much exercise it takes to burn off calories from common foods. This is not to say you should never have foods or drink that are bad for you – just have them in moderation! So in summary, you can’t burn off a bad diet. And you’ll feel better overall if you don’t have a bad diet to burn off!