Yes, it is possible to out-train a bad diet. Chances are you do it every single day.
Actually let’s call a spade a spade here, because what we’re not really talking about is a bad diet. People who are living off of rice flour and rotting meat have a bad diet. It’s not like fitness experts are referring to nutritional deficiencies when they claim you can’t out train a bad diet. What we’re really talking about isn’t about out training a bad diet, but rather out training a fattening diet.
Not only can you out train a fattening diet, but it’s happening all the time. Anyone who’s working out a lot, yet maintaining a stable weight is essentially out training their otherwise fattening diet. The amount of food they are eating would be very fattening, yet their activity levels are keeping their weight in check. They are very much out training their diet.
Everyone has a potentially fattening diet that’s being held in check due to their caloric expenditure. After all, it’s never the diet alone that causes weight gain, nor is it the activity that causes weight loss. It’s always the balance between caloric intake and expenditure that’s in charge. So if you’re active at all, and maintaining a stable weight then you’re already out training your potentially fattening diet to some degree.
A common example is that of the collegiate athlete who graduates, stops training, and then gains weight once they start working at a desk 8 hours a day. They often claim they don’t eat “that bad” which is how they ate while they trained hard on the rugby team. They didn’t gain weight as an athlete, but once they stop training their diet then becoming a fattening diet because of the drop in caloric expenditure. They had been out-training their diet all through college!
In the end, it’s not the job of your diet to cause weight loss, nor is it the fault of your diet that can cause weight gain. It’s also not the job of exercise or activity to cause weight loss either. It’s always the calorie balance that’s in charge and your weight will always depend upon that balance regardless of what your diet or training levels look like. Sure diet and exercise are influences, and many times they are big influences. Often the diet is a bigger influence than activity which is where this whole idea comes from. However let’s not over rely on influences, no matter how big they are because they are always limited. Intake and expenditure are both important, but the idea that one is more important than the other depends upon how big each influence is. All diets have the potential to be fattening, just as all exercise programs have the potential to be slimming but it all depends upon the influence of the other side of the calorie equation.