I get asked this question a lot of times, specially from guys or girls who love to train and workout but hate to follow a strict diet. There´s not a correct answer for this, for some of you it may be possible for others won´t.
We are all unique, our genetics, metabolism and other factors play an important role on how strict and discipline we need to be with our nutrition and training program, for some guys it is easier to lose fat than for others, there are some guys that gain weight easier than others, you may know someone who´s diet is the same as other normal guys who eat mostly junk, processed and fast food and eats a lot but is able to maintain his weight or physique and stay lean or skinny if he doesn´t work out. You may have asked him how can he eat all those things and stay lean. There are other guys who with just a bite of pizza or a single bite of a piece of cake they gain weight, some of them say that even water makes them gain weight.
The only one who knows if you can out train a bad diet is you, you are the only who knows your body, if you are starting your fitness journey it may be harder for you to see if you can do it or not until you get more experienced and understand how your body works and how it respond to all 5 elements of fitness.
Some simple points you can consider are, is it hard for you to lose weight? if it´s hard for you to lose weight and you know you need to be more discipline and watch out what you eat in order to lose weight then you may not be able to out train a bad diet. If it is easier for you to lose weight and maintain your new weight without paying too much attention to what you eat or the amounts you have more chances.
Also you need to consider that nutrition is one piece of the fitness puzzle, if the other 4 pieces are on point you may be able to out train your diet. Your workout program plays and important part on whether you can do it or not, but also your sleep and stress can help you.
What´s the point of out training a bad diet? or why do you want to do it? The goal of fitness is to help you live a better life, to get you in shape and healthy prepared to whatever you might need to face and ready to live the most amazing times and enjoy them. If you do it the right way you don´t need to worry about out training a bad diet, your nutrition program must give you the freedom to try and eat almost all foods as long as they are real, fresh and natural or meals cooked with fresh ingredients you also have the freedom to have your favorite snack or unhealthy food every now and then, maybe once a week.
There´s no reason you need to be asking this question if your goal is to live a better life, I need to make something clear here, for some guys it´s possible to lose weight and maintain eating unhealthy foods but that doesn´t mean they´re healthy. You don´t need to follow strict low calorie diets or eliminate certain foods completely. For some guys if they´re not giving nutrients to their body it gets harder to get to the gym and workout, when you are exercising your body needs certain nutrients to recover and get stronger, faster, leaner and better. If your body is not recovering you may feel tired, sore and unfocused with can make your workout routine and can lead to injuries and over training.
As you can see with this and the other posts, there are so many different things that come into play, if you understand each of them, know their function and how your body responds with time you´ll see that if you keep things simple and stick with the basics you don´t need to worry or get stress with diets or the scale.
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