People don’t typically get fat from eating large sums of carbohydrates alone, as well as people don’t get fat from eating large sums of fat alone. It’s the combination of eating high amounts of both carbohydrates and fats together that adds up to a high caloric intake. Add a sedentary lifestyle into the mix and that’s a recipe for weight gain.

Is it possible to out-hustle our diet? Can we neutralize the damaging effects of a bad diet simply by routinely lifting weights and/or with some form of a cardio workout? These are interesting questions as we see countless people going in and out of neighborhood gyms or mid-day and late-night infomercials promoting the possibilities. We assume that the excess weight we carry derives from our bad diet, but it also could be the result of the lack of activity in our lives.

A popular yet controversial documentary film from 2004 called “Super Size Me” featured Morgan Spurlock’s 30-day adventure of only eating from the popular fast food restaurant McDonald’s menu. Morgan’s experiment came to be after watching a tv report about how two women were suing McDonald’s on claims their food made them obese. As ridiculous as the lawsuit sounds, the concept for the movie Super Size Me was born. Morgan only ate at McDonald’s for 30 straight days and if asked to “Super Size” his order the answer will always be yes. Morgan gained 24 pounds during the 30 days with 13% added to his body mass index. During the 30 days, Morgan had consumed over 30 pounds of sugar and 12 pounds of fat.

After watching the Super Size Me film one main take away is Morgan didn’t exercise at all during the film. What if the results of 24 pounds of extra body weight and the 13% increase in body mass would have been offset by a workout regimen. This science teacher re-enacted Super Size Me and added working out into the mix, the results are much different. John Cisna, the science teacher, weighed 280 pounds at the start of his McDonald’s-only diet. After 90 days, he had lost 37 pounds, after 180 days (six months) he lost 56 pounds! However, Mr. Cisna limited his daily intake to 2,000 calories and exercised for 45 minutes five times a week.

So, if in the science teachers experiment it’s possible to out hustle your diet if you keep the calories within a usable range. But plenty of diets are promoting low carbs or low-fat diets to a thinner you. How well do these diets work with exercise? Well, identical twins took this topic on for 30 days. In “One twin gave up sugar, the other gave up fat. Their experiment could change YOUR life”. One of the twins adhered to the low carb diet and exercise as the other adhered to the low fat and exercise diet. The weight loss results were comparable in the end but the energy to power through workouts was much different, which may have contributed to their differences in total weight loss.

A study called, the MATADOR study, featured 51 men with obesity divided into two groups. One group continuously dieted for 16 weeks with FIIT workouts, while the other group intermittently dieted two weeks with FIIT workouts on the diet then two weeks off the diet. 47 of the participants completed the study and the results showed higher weight and fat loss with the intermittent dieters over the continuous dieters!

For these examples of overcoming your bad diet with exercise, you can now begin to understand the truths to why the users of the Nutrisystem’s and Weight Watchers of the world receive their success. Or the millions of people who consume Herbalife Shakes or Isagenix Shakes products to lose weight. Each system, if followed correctly, will guarantee to lower your calories each day. Add in exercise and the chances of achieving success increase exponentially.

Important note: A standard deviation on food labels is important to understand. This means the government allows food companies to come within 20% of the content supplied on the food label. If the food label says 320 Calories per serving, it could mean 320 plus 20% or 384 Calories per serving. This is true for everything else on the label. So be careful when selecting your food by reading the labels.

It’s a blatantly false notion to accept the idea that you can not out hustle a bad diet. Exercise can offset the negative effects of poor eating habits. Most people, who have gained weight, did so by habitually eating above the necessary Calories their body requires to operate. Exercise is a great way to use more calories during the day and eating healthy will ensure you have enough energy to sustain perform your daily tasks.

Although studies have confused the public by implicating fast-food consumption as the culprit in the obesity epidemic, fast food, in fact, does not ensure added weight or body fat. If you routinely engage in exercise, the occasional fast food meal will not guarantee weight gain. However, by eating fast food and living a sedentary lifestyle will definitely set up a recipe for weight gain and health problems

So, to answer the question, Can the Damaging Effects of a Bad Diet be Counterbalanced with Exercise? If you overindulge, you must do something to get rid of the surplus in calories. The best way to use up the surplus is to engage in exercise. It’s highly recommended to engage in healthy eating, controlled intakes so your exercise is more impactful.