The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Q & A -

I get asked this ques­tion a lot by my clients. To put it sim­ply, the an­swer is no. While ex­er­cise is an in­te­gral part of health and well­be­ing – keep­ing your bones and heart strong, clear­ing your mind and re­liev­ing you of stress – you can’t out-run a bad diet.

Get­ting up at the crack of dawn and go­ing for a 20km run just so you can have a large dou­ble-cream caramel latte, or thrash­ing your­self at the gym for an hour or two before you pick up two cur­ries, rice, a large gar­lic naan and a bot­tle of wine on your way home, isn’t go­ing to save your health.

You’ll end up ex­haust­ing your­self, feel­ing lousy and pos­si­bly be­com­ing even hun­grier due to over-ex­er­cis­ing and eat­ing poorly. You might also end up be­com­ing de­pen­dent on ex­er­cise to burn off the ex­tra kilo­joules you eat from junk food.

I do have some good news, though. It is pos­si­ble to have a healthy life­style, choose nour­ish­ing foods and still have a few ex­tras, treats or the oc­ca­sional junk food on the side, with­out stack­ing on un­wanted weight. It’s all about bud­get­ing your food choices.

Each per­son’s kilo­joule bud­get is dif­fer­ent – age, gen­der and ac­tiv­ity hav­ing the great­est ef­fect on it. When you’re young, ac­tive and have size­able mus­cle mass you’re a fuel-burn­ing ma­chine, mean­ing you can eat more.

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