Can't outrun a bad diet!

       Fit player, but still have the gut? 

       Fit player, but still have the gut? 

You’ve likely heard the adage that “You can’t outrun a bad diet”. Hopefully you all understand that saying if not we got a lot more work to do. And most of you ruggers may have seen that or experience that first hand.

You yourself or one of our club mates may have experienced this. They train super hard, commit to the gym, run and while they get fitter, better, and stronger it seems they just aren’t dropping the weight you’d expect for the work they are putting in. WHY?

Why? It’s likely because you can’t outrun a bad diet. You can run, you can even train/run marathons and while dropping some weight not be able to get as lean as you want or think you should be. That’s because of your diet, and for most people you can’t overcome a bad diet with just training. Fitness expert Vinnie Tororich says over and over on his podcast (Angriest Trainer Podcast which we highly recommend) exercise is a bad way to loose weight. We know guys/girls who come out for rugby and take up the game as a way to get fit and they can, but if they still have the poor diet they can’t make the most out of their efforts.

So we were hoping to briefly give the ruggers some tips that can help with them getting to where they want to be and this isn’t just directed to the front rowers, we’ve seen some heavy centers and pudgy #9s around California. So if you want to learn all about why you can’t get away from a bad diet we have several books on our Reading List page such as Finesse Confidential, Good Calorie Bad Calorie (just read any of the Gary Taubles books), or The Calorie Myth.

To save you time we’ll share what we’ve learned from these books and experts from around the globe (whose tips we do retweet so follow us).  Trying to count calories will drive you crazy as it’s not really accurate.  100 calories of chicken isn’t the same as 100 calories of a candy bar agree? If so then we know trying to use calories to monitor our diet won’t work effectively.

So, it really is understanding what we are eating and how it impacts us. Sugars are bad. We all know that. All forms are bad and there are a lot of things we eat that aren’t sugar when we consumer them, but in our body they are processed into sugar (i.e. all the carbs). All carbs will be turned into sugar in your system the question is which ones have the least negative impact. Those are vegetables and fruits. Fries bad, pasta bad, bread bad, and ruggers you won’t like this …beer also a major carbs. Now this isn’t saying don’t ever eat/drink, but if this is all you do eat/drink then all the running won’t work (for most).

British & Irish Lions Training - Photo Dan Sheridan

British & Irish Lions Training -Photo Dan Sheridan

The more you workout the more you need to eat. It’s natural. You are burning a lot of fuel in running, practice, etc. and so you have to replace those and also ensure you give your body the nutrients it needs to recover and grow. You can’t do a calorie restriction and get good results. You can’t eat only 800 calories a day for example, but train hard 2-3hr a day and practice and think over time that will work. You’ll fatigue, you’ll loose muscle, etc.

Also you can’t eat a ton of crap and think “I’ll just go for a run and burn it off”.  When people do that they are trying to out run a bad diet. So for now let’s keep it simple. Don’t eat a ton of crap. Don’t eat a ton of sugar, don’t eat a ton of carbs, don’t eat processed foods and that combined with all those runs will start to yield better results.  You can even test if you want for yourself for three weeks to a month and see if eating better (real foods vs process crap) with all your work is getting you the results. Just cut out all sugars for 30 days and see how that goes it will be tough for a week but then you'll see results. 

The topic is more complex than that and we can share resources on nutrition but if you have worked all off-season but still haven’t gotten to your goal, look at your diet. What are you eating, and really what are you drinking, because unless you drink water, plain tea with no sweetener, or coffee without sweetener (try doing a bullet proof coffee with cream, grass fed butter and coconut oil) then you are likely drinking a lot of crap that’s holding you back.  We will work with experts to bring you more short tips, but we are sure as of now we aren’t going to be going after any beverage sponsors. No soda, juice, energy drinks, beer, etc for 30 days and see what happens.