Can You Out Train a Bad Diet Day?

out train a bad dietThere is a saying that you might know, “you can’t out train a bad diet.” For the most part, this is entirely true. But enjoying a big meal for a big event is something that you SHOULD enjoy as well. I typically try to inspire my clients to stick to their goals and have extreme dedication, but trying to be absolutely perfect with your diet at all times is setting yourself up for failure.

Did you have a little extra on a Saturday night? It was Pizza for me. How about you? Perhaps you enjoyed your chicken wings, pizza and chips. How do you burn it off today?

Should you head to the gym and do a long high intensity workout trying to burn it all off in one day? Of course not. Don’t change your routine drastically to try to “out train” a bad day of eating. But, you can make up for that calorie binge throughout the week ahead.

How many calories can you burn in one high intensity workout? The average person will burn 300-400 or so in 30-45 minutes (a bit more if you go for a full 60). That is likely nowhere near the amount of calories you ate yesterday. That is OK, follow your same plan with a few adjustments throughout the week.

1. Decrease your calories by about 30% over the course of the week. I highly recommend a calorie tracker like My Fitness Pal.
2. Bump your cardio up 5 minutes per day each cardio session. I even created a little 5-minute cardio interval video for you to check out too.

It is pretty simple. While you CAN’T out train a bad diet every day, you can make up for a slip here and there or a “cheat” day. What else do you do to make up for a binge day or meal?


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Jenn Mitchell is a proud mom, wife and adventure seeker. She’s traveled either solo or with family to 20 countries and 36 U.S. states so far. A former personal trainer, Jenn looks for ways to keep her family fit and active both at home and on the road. Her goal is to inspire other moms and families to live happy and healthy lives.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Great tips! People are only human, and nobody eats perfect 100% of the time. I find that making sure that I drink lots of water helps to flush out some of the extra salt that is in so many “treat” foods.

  2. Emily

    This is a great post! So many people think if they have one bad day with their diet they should just stop, when really every day is a new beginning a chance to try it again! Those are great tips for correcting a “bad” diet day!

  3. Jadey Sam

    I have lots of bad diet day but I just make sure I do some extra activities the day after.

  4. Jenna Wood

    I have always wondered about this, thanks for the great formula!

  5. mel

    What a great idea! I have so many bad diet days!

  6. Sarah

    Wow, you make it sounds so much easier to fix my “bad days” thank you!

  7. Mitch

    Jenn, I’ve found what works for me is tacking on just a few extra minutes of activity to a workout. This beats out setting up a routine for doing too much at once. While hard effort is often the goal, I feel adding in a bit of walking is a good idea too. This can help in two ways (1) it gets you burning a few of those “extra” calories and (2) walking acts as a stress-reliever. As long as we’re eating clean most of the time, a cheat meal, or entire day, should be seen as a reward and not a burden.


  8. I think its good to prepare for a binge day ahead of time if you know its coming. Also, after I eat a lot, I usually don’t feel like eating to much for awhile.

  9. Michelle

    Great post! it is important to remember we are only human…. having said that I tell my clients that if your eating healthy 80% of the time, then the 20% of unhealthy eating, won’t matter.


    Michelle Foster
    Registered Holistic Nutritionist

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