3 Diets Habits That Make (or Break) Your Workout

nutrition strength training weight loss Mar 12, 2022

Don’t get it confused; the point of a workout is to work. In order to do that effectively, you have to be fueled properly.

Which of the diet habits that I share in today’s video do you need to improve?

Pretty much every week I coach a client away from old thinking that workouts are for burning calories, getting skinny, or losing weight.

Approaching your workout as a means to lose weight seems logical. But it’s actually backward.

The amount of calories that you burn in a workout - irrespective of how hard the workout is - is really quite miniscule. 

Harvard Health Publishing (yes, that “Harvard”) compiled information from three incredible sources on the average number of calories burned during workouts. The sources for the numbers they reported are highly accurate, and certainly match up with what I’ve observed in the 30 years I’ve been in this industry.

On average, a 155 pound woman will burn only 345 calories during a 3 mile run at a pace of 12 minutes per mile. Source is linked below.

345 calories!? For 36 minutes of your life!?

Beyond that, if your goal is to lose weight, you’re going to have to do that at least 10 times in order to burn off 1 pound of body fat. (You have to burn 3500 calories in order to burn off 1 pound of body fat. 3500 divided by 345 equals 10.14)


And this is exactly why I’ve always said that your goal during workouts should not be to “burn calories” or “lose weight.” The math rarely adds up to anything worthy of significant body transformation.

The goal of your workout should be to work. To challenge your body beyond its current ability.

More specifically, when you use progressive resistance strength training to build muscle, you’re turning your body into a fat burning machine…


That’s right. Because of muscle, you’ll burn more calories when you sleep, when you shower, at work, watching tv, or painting your toenails. And that adds up to real body transformation.

In this episode, I’m sharing 3 diet habits that are making or breaking your workout. 

Do these three things right, and you’ll watch your body change before your eyes, seemingly overnight. Get these three wrong, and you’re nearly spinning your wheels. If you’ve been working out, but not seeing the results that you should, this could be why.

It really comes down to fueling yourself properly throughout the day so you prime your body for peak performance in your next workout. That right, how you eat today impacts the quality of your workout tomorrow.

Fasted workouts don’t work. If you’ve been working out on empty and aren’t happy with your results, why are you working out on empty?

I often use the analogy of professional athletes, like Serena Williams. Do you think she does intermittent fasting and then heads into a training session or match on empty and a cup of coffee so she can “burn more fat”? 

I’ll place my bet on a big fat “No.”

In fact, here is a quote from Serena directly, as told to Women’s Health magazine

“Right before games, though, she has a go-to plate. "I usually like to have lots of greens before my match and then fruit actually, and a little carbs and some sort of a protein. So I try to knock them [her food groups] all out in one.”

I’d also place a big fat bet on the chance that her “go-to plate” is also macronutrient balanced around 40-50% carbs. 

If I haven’t made my point here yet, I hope you’ll take the time to watch this episode of Hot Tea with Holly. It was an incredible conversation that you don’t want to miss!

Do you love learning about evidence-based concepts? Are you someone who appreciates research that backs up your beliefs? Me too. Here’s the Harvard Health Publishing article that compiled the data on calorie expenditure during workouts.


Stay strong, friend.

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