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“You Can’t Out Train A Bad Diet”

The quote that starts of this article comes from exercise coaches and trainers. Those are the folks that help people create weight training, and other physical exercise routines and help keep them motivated.

When people who really understand the importance of exercise make this kind of a statement, it pays to sit up and take notice.

Of course we all know that exercise is important. If you don’t use your body in the ways that are good for it, you will loose the ability to use it at all after a while. That’s the practical meaning of the phrase, “Use it or lose it.”

But even if you exercise regularly, you can’t get the full benefit of exercise without the right food.

Are there exceptions? Sure. 8-time gold medal Olympian Michael Phelps is reported to eat whatever he wants. And he eats huge quantities besides. But he has a couple of things going for him that the rest of us don’t – he’s still quite young, and he trains up to 10 hours a day.

I say, more power to him.

But for the rest of us who might not be so young and resilient and who have other things we need to do most of the day, what we choose to eat has one of the biggest effects on our ability to function. If we want to remain healthy and productive, the food we eat matters.

A useful comparison is thinking of food like you think of gasoline for your car.

I have a patient who once told me about a prank he pulled as a teenager. He and a buddy took his father’s car without permission and headed out for a joyride. As they noticed they were running out of gas, they stopped and quickly filled the tank.

What they didn’t notice was that the fuel they put in was diesel fuel, not gasoline. Ouch!

He told me that as they drove off smoke started pouring out the tailpipe and the car started missing and jerking until it stopped altogether. He didn’t mention it, but I have no doubt his father wasn’t too pleased about the repair bill…

Our bodies are the same way. Some of us run perfectly on one kind of food, while others would quickly break down eating that way. It’s the reason that your best friend can lose weight on a certain diet, but you don’t. It’s also the reason that you might feel great after a meal that causes your spouse to crash and burn.

The bottom line is that you need both adequate exercise and to eat the right foods for your body’s unique requirements.

We’ve talked previously about the ways you can figure out the right foods for you. You can see those suggestions in the article, Early Warning Health Signals.

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