Sorry to break it to you, but the short answer is no.

Though there is a study that has shown that intense exercise can decrease lipid markers in the bloodstream independent of diet, it does not mean that you can have a steady intake of junk food (it even states that inappropriate dietary intake jeopardizes sports performance and the benefits of training). The study simply shows that there is a positive correlation between exercise and increase in heart health. Imagine the results if their diet was cleaned up?

But you say: what if I burn more than I take in? Shouldn’t I still lose weight?

Theoretically yes, for a short time.

But your body still needs proper nutrition to do it’s job. It is possible to be eating enough calories yet be malnourished because you are not consuming enough vitamins and mineral complexes that are naturally found in whole foods, and in time, your body may go into starvation mode and begin to store calories (on top of breaking muscle down to synthesize necessary proteins for your body to function). Eating good, nutritious food will give you the energy you need to do your best workouts and allow your body to repair itself and build lean muscle after a hard workout.

On top of that, constantly consuming inflammatory foods will keep you from your goals. You may think that you can eat whatever so long as exercise burns it off, but in the long run, this is not sustainable and eventually you may run out of steam. A healthy diet and exercise complement one another and doing well in one motivates to do well in the other.

Never underestimate the value of nutrition.

If you are not getting the results you are seeking, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you are doing. Make note of what you’re eating for a week. Maybe you’ll see that you’re eating too much, or not enough, or you have one too many indulgence meals or empty calories throughout the week. The only way to get the best results for your health and body is to be honest with yourself and then make the necessary changes in your lifestyle. Let yourself indulge from time to time, but don’t allow your cravings for junk food become the norm rather than the exception and rob your body of the nutrition it needs to give you the best and healthiest version of you.

Resources:

Juan Mielgo-Ayuso, et al. Changes induced by diet and nutritional intake in the lipid profile of female professional volleyball players after 11 weeks of training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013, 10:55

Laurel Leicht. 6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise an Unhealthy Diet. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/21/exercise-unhealthy-diet_n_6194256.html

For more yoga, fitness and other daily inspiration, follow Summer on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/summerperez

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