top of page
  • Writer's pictureJane Webber Nutrition

Can't lose weight despite spending hours at the gym?

You can’t out exercise a rubbish diet

Have you ever eaten a whole pizza, family size chocolate bar or bottle of wine and justified it by saying you will go to the gym, run, walk it off the next day?

The truth is that whilst it’s easy to eat or drink a large number of calories in a short time, it’s a damn sight harder to burn them off.

We always underestimate the number of calories we eat especially when we consume highly processed foods which offer little or no nutritional value, ie empty calories. So, hitting the gym or doing other forms of exercise will not undo the damage.

The trick is to consume whole, less processed foods like vegetables, whole grains and lean protein that increase your satiety and are lower in calories

Exercise makes you hungry

When we exercise our brain triggers a signal to tell us to eat in order to recover.

This is in theory a good thing. However, what we eat to replenish our bodies is very important.

It’s common for people to eat carbs like white bread, white pasta or other refined carbs. They do provide the necessary calories, but they don’t always provide you with the right nutrients that will keep you feeling full for longer.

If you refuel with nutrient dense foods, you will feel fuller for longer and you won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

Post workout foods include whole grains pasta, rice and bread - mind the portion sizes.


Protein like spinach, lean meat liked chicken, turkey, beans or if in a hurry protein shakes

A bad diet will limit your performance

If you have poor nutrition then your performance will suffer

You will never reach your full potential or get the most from your workouts because your body isn’t supported correctly with the right foods.

Let’s be honest no elite sports person would perform at their best despite the effort they put in with training etc., if they didn’t fuel their bodies with the correct nutrients.

To get the most from your workouts think about the food you are eating

Early morning exercise

Have something small before training. Banana as an example. Refuel afterwards with a breakfast like yoghurt and fruit, eggs or a protein shake

Midday exercise

If training between main meals then have a low calorie snack and refuel with a larger meal, ie dinner after training

Evening exercise

Same applies for midday exercise. Eat your dinner afterwards rather than before. No one can perform well on a overly full stomach.

Takeaway messages

Its easy to consume more calories than you can burn off exercising, so watch what you are eating and don’t consume empty calories

Exercise increases your appetite so don’t replenish your body with the incorrect foods.

Your diet will impact your exercise performance levels. Take note of what you are eating.

The bottom line is when it comes to reaching your goals of performance, ideal weight or healthy lifestyle then nutrition will always play an important part of this balance.

The nutrition part will always win if you want to achieve all three goals


bottom of page