T Nation

Cardio and diet

Can cardio make up for a less than perfect diet?

I ask because I have heard people say that when they do several 45 minute, high intensity sessions of cardio a week, that their diet can be less than perfect without encountering any real problems.

This throws back to the basic tenet of balancing calories in VS calories expended. To lose weight, you eat less, exercise more. To eat more with the same weight, eat more, exercise more!
Have you ever head the saying “You have to eat to work out and you have to work out to eat!”?

Hmmmn, I’d say that “no” it isn’t enough (see my post in desperate’s thread). However, if you’ve “junked out” I’d say you’re much better off doing the cardio than not!

Read Chris Shugart’s article: “Dawg School : Basic Training for Beginners
The Bodybuilder’s Hierarchy of Needs” .

Heck no it cannot! Next time you’re on the stair master look at the estimated caloric expenditure. In 45 minutes you’ll be lucky to burn 350-400 calories. As a comparison, look at the following fast food items:

Big Mac: 570 cals, Big Xtra with cheese: 810 cals, Medium order of fries: 450 cals, Big order of fries: 540 cals, 9 McNuggets: 430 cals, Sundaes: 340-360 cals, McFlurry: 630 cals, Whopper: 680 cals, Whopper with cheese: 780 cals, BK medium fries: 360 cals, Double whopper: 920 cals, Double whopper with cheese: 1020 cals, Pizza hut stuffed crust: 400 cals per piece, soft drink: around 150 cals per glass.

So a relatively average fast food meal can run up to 1500-2000 calories easily, 1000-1200 of these calories comming either from fat or simple sugar. So even if caloric balance was the most important factor in not getting fat (which it isn't) you would still need 4-5 intense 45 minutes cardio sessions just to make up for *one* average fast food meal per week. And I'm not even including other weekly binges or bad food choices.

Well, it depends.

What’s “less than perfect”? Is it Patricia’s cookie or beer or is it more along the line of Christian’s “Mac attack”? Less than perfect would lean towards Pat’s definition and I would have to say yes some added cardio would help. If you’re talking about the standard american diet (SAD) then the answer is HELL NO!!

No amount of cardio will “neutralize” the calories ingested. Sure they might keep a few hundred at bay but why kill yourself doing cardio to eat SAD?

Croooz

Sorry, I know i butchered your name. Anyway…i was just curious on your opinion, if cals in vs. cals out isn’t the most important thing in fatloss, what is?