Exercise & Poor Nutrition

Welcome back here to franktortorici.com. I wanted to touch on the importance of people grasping the concept that you cannot out-exercise a poor diet and poor lifestyle. It’s one of the most common things I see as a personal trainer, wellness coaching. It’s just a common thing that people just have this concept that if they go on the treadmill for an hour and burn off the calories then they’ve eliminated that horrible meal that they had for dinner and desert last night.

That may be the case if we’re stuck in numbers, obviously, if I ate 860 calories and then I went on the treadmill and burned 1,000, whatever it may be. If we’re talking from a numbers standpoint and you’re caught up in that concept then I could understand how one could buy into that theory so to speak.

Really at the end of the day when all is said and done, it’s like I always say: stop counting calories and start reading the ingredients. Get over the nutrition facts; get into the ingredients. It’s two separate things. I think once you do that you start to understand more that the whole theory of out-exercising a poor diet is total BS. Again, when we’re looking at things from a holistic standpoint … Again, if you’re looking at this from a conventional standpoint then it makes total sense. Numbers and numbers and if we’re caught up in numbers then we follow those guidelines and those restrictions.

But when we’re looking at a holistic standpoint, and the belief in holistic is preventative measures. If you’re going to scarf down a number two with a super-sized soda and then think that later on in the day you’re going to burn that off in the gym, again, you may burn those calories off but when we talk holistic we dive into the principles and the beliefs that every time we’re putting in toxicity we’re building more depth and layers of gook that eventually has to come out, because if it does not come out it acidifies more, it calcifies, and just creates more illness and disease in the body.

On the holistic means there is no way to out-exercise any diet, poor diet. From a holistic means it’s embodying a holistic lifestyle and being able to implement that day in and day out without even thinking. I always say it’s like rebooting the motherboard of a computer. Same thing with how you view what you put in your body, when and why. At the end of the day when we talk preventative and holistic there’s no out-exercising any poor lifestyle. The only way to really attack that thoroughly is to just change one lifestyle for the better and not holding onto old thought patterns and just action patterns of when we eat, how we eat, and why we eat.

Again, just to really bring this home, changing one lifestyle is the key to getting the weight off, keeping the weight off, feeling better mentally, having more energy, having more happiness. There’s the three H’s that this one profound had taught me. Everyone should be happy, hungry, and horny. If we’re not, there’s obviously a shift that’s taking place in our body that is not wanted. No matter how much you exercise, if you’re putting in crap you’re not going to out-exercise that crap. Changing the lifestyle is where it’s at!

                         Peace and love.



Published: April 13, 2011
Kenji Aoki for The New York Times

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the country. He published his first paper on childhood obesity a dozen years ago, and he has been treating patients and doing research on the disorder ever since.

The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.” And by “sugar,” Lustig means not only the white granulated stuff that we put in coffee and sprinkle on cereal — technically known as sucrose — but also high-fructose corn syrup, which has already become without Lustig’s help what he calls “the most demonized additive known to man.”

It doesn’t hurt Lustig’s cause that he is a compelling public speaker. His critics argue that what makes him compelling is his practice of taking suggestive evidence and insisting that it’s incontrovertible. Lustig certainly doesn’t dabble in shades of gray. Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.”

If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them.

The number of viewers Lustig has attracted suggests that people are paying attention to his argument. When I set out to interview public health authorities and researchers for this article, they would often initiate the interview with some variation of the comment “surely you’ve spoken to Robert Lustig,” not because Lustig has done any of the key research on sugar himself, which he hasn’t, but because he’s willing to insist publicly and unambiguously, when most researchers are not, that sugar is a toxic substance that people abuse. In Lustig’s view, sugar should be thought of, like cigarettes and alcohol, as something that’s killing us.

This brings us to the salient question: Can sugar possibly be as bad as Lustig says it is?

It’s one thing to suggest, as most nutritionists will, that a healthful diet includes more fruits and vegetables, and maybe less fat, red meat and salt, or less of everything. It’s entirely different to claim that one particularly cherished aspect of our diet might not just be an unhealthful indulgence but actually be toxic, that when you bake your children a birthday cake or give them lemonade on a hot summer day, you may be doing them more harm than good, despite all the love that goes with it. Suggesting that sugar might kill us is what zealots do. But Lustig, who has genuine expertise, has accumulated and synthesized a mass of evidence, which he finds compelling enough to convict sugar. His critics consider that evidence insufficient, but there’s no way to know who might be right, or what must be done to find out, without discussing it.

If I didn’t buy this argument myself, I wouldn’t be writing about it here. And I also have a disclaimer to acknowledge. I’ve spent much of the last decade doing journalistic research on diet and chronic disease — some of the more contrarian findings, on dietary fat, appeared in this magazine —– and I have come to conclusions similar to Lustig’s.