You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet

Cellular Economics of Exercise and Nutrition

When it is all said and done, exercise, nutrition, and weight loss all comes down to simple economic concepts of supply and demand.  Every cell in your body demands certain components to function properly, and we need to supply them with exactly what they need to promote a healthy life.  When we eat food, the intention is to supply the body with what the cells are demanding.  This includes a supply of energy (calories), plus the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other micronutrients needed to produce vital cellular components including DNA, cell membranes, proteins, connective tissues, hormones, and much more.

When we live inactive lifestyles, our body has a low demand for energy (calories), and it becomes easier to consume excessive calories that the body does not need, resulting in weight gain and chronic diseases.  When it comes to weight loss, the approach for many decades has been primarily focused on increasing your body’s demand for calories by exercising more, and reducing the supply of calories by eating less.  While this might be an effective method of reducing weight, it is unfortunately short-sighted because of the fact that your body does not simply run on the economics of calories consumed vs. calories burned.  There are many other metabolic processes that have additional demands that must be met.

Effects of Exercise on “Metabolic Demand”

We know it is important to stay physically active.  There are countless researched and documented benefits to exercise and physical activity, and this is well known to most people. But consider that exercise does far more than simply burn excess calories.  Exercise also increases the cellular demand for all of the biochemical tools needed to carry out cellular metabolism while also dealing with the metabolic waste products and free radicals that are being generated.1,2 Exercise essentially speeds up our metabolic processes, meaning we are using up micronutrients and creating metabolic waste products at a much higher rate.3

Also consider that exercise generally results in building bigger and stronger muscles. You can’t build strong muscles without the proper building supplies – and despite the popular work-out trends, the proper supplies include much more than a sugar-filled protein powder shake.  Your body is demanding more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep the cells healthy on a biochemical level.4–7
Effects of Dieting on “Metabolic Supply”

Anymore, someone giving dietary advice starts to sound like a broken record – eat less, smaller portions, incorporate more fruits and vegetables, limit fat and sugar intake.  Unfortunately, too many people tend to focus entirely on the “eat less, smaller portion, fewer calories” side of the diet equation and forget to incorporate more healthy foods like vegetables and fruits.

People frequently end up just eating smaller amounts of the same bad foods or substituting them with low-fat, sugar-free, or “diet” options.  This might be effective for decreasing the daily supply of calories, but we have already discussed that your body has other demands besides calories such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.  So we need to ask ourselves if we are on a restricted diet that has us eating less, are we still supplying the body with everything it is demanding?

The Metabolic Balance of Diet and Exercise

A seasoned athlete can burn thousands of calories every day, and will also eat thousands of extra calories to help nourish the body a recover from strenuous workouts.  They are trying not to lose weight, but to maintain a healthy body so while they may closely watch their diet, it is likely not restrictive in the same sense that typical weight-loss diets are.  Depending on their dietary choices, the seasoned athlete is likely getting a good amount of what the body is demanding because they are able to eat more food without gaining weight.8 Many athletes will also add dietary supplements to their regimen because they understand the effects strenuous exercise has on their body and want to be sure they are properly nourished.

Now compare the seasoned athlete with someone that is actively trying to lose weight by improving their diet and exercising more.  They are increasing their body’s metabolic demands and oxidative stresses by the increased physical activity, but they are likely also decreasing the metabolic supply of nutrients through a restricted diet.  Now we have a situation where a person is potentially restricting their body’s supply of essential micronutrients at critical time when the body is demanding them even more.

“You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet”

Regardless of your weight or level of health or fitness, your body demands micronutrients.9 Nothing changes this.  Some people need to burn more calories and some people need to consume fewer calories, but all people need to consume an adequate amount of micronutrients every day.  This is why you cannot “outrun a bad diet.”  Sure, you can lose weight on a bad diet, but the only way to give your body the micronutrients it demands for optimum health and longevity is by consuming them in your diet.10 This means incorporating foods with a high nutrient to calorie ratio such as vegetables and fruits, as well as supplementing with quality dietary supplements like the Pinnaclife products.

Pinnaclife dietary supplements are an excellent way to provide your body with essential micronutrients it demands.  This is especially true for people with higher metabolic needs such as those that are sick or participating in regular strenuous physical activity.  The addition of the patented Olivamine 10® Max provides support by increasing the activity of vital antioxidant, detoxification, and immune systems that can be overwhelmed during stress, illness, and strenuous exercise.3,11,12 Increasing physical activity is great, but it increases your body’s demand for a healthy, balanced, and micronutrient rich diet.  You need to always ask yourself if you are supplying your body with what it demands.


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2.        Leeuwenburgh C, Heinecke JW. Oxidative stress and antioxidants in exercise. Curr Med Chem. 2001;8(7):829–38. 

3.        Ji LL, Leichtweis S. Exercise and oxidative stress: Sources of free radicals and their impact on antioxidant systems. Age (Omaha). 1997;20:91–106.

4.        Blatt AD, Roe LS, Rolls BJ. Increasing the protein content of meals and its effect on daily energy intake. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(2):290–294.

5.        Roe LS, Meengs JS, Rolls BJ. Salad and satiety: the effect of timing of salad consumption on meal energy intake. Appetite. 2012;58(1):242–48.

6.        Van Kleef E, Van Trijp JCM, Van Den Borne JJGC, Zondervan C. Successful development of satiety enhancing food products: towards a multidisciplinary agenda of research challenges. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(7):611–28. 

7.        Fuhrman J, Sarter B, Glaser D, Acocella S. Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. Nutr J. 2010;9(51):1–13. 

8.        Fogelholm M. Micronutrients: interaction between physical activity, intakes and requirements. Public Health Nutr. 2007;2(3a):349–56.

9.        Malhotra A, Noakes T, Phinney S. It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet. Br J Sport Med. 2015;0(Published Online First: 23 April 2015):1–2. 

10.     Ames BN. Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103(47):17589–17594. 

11.     Sarsour EH, Kumar MG, Chaudhuri L, Kalen AL, Goswami PC. Redox control of the cell cycle in health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009;11(12):2985–3011. 

12.     Sarsour EH, Kumar MG, Kalen AL, Goswami M, Buettner GR, Goswami PC. MnSOD activity regulates hydroxytyrosol-induced extension of chronological lifespan. Age (Omaha). 2011;34:95–109.

About the author: Kyle Hilsabeck, PharmD., is the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Affairs at McCord Holdings and licensed by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy.  He completed bachelors degrees in biology and biochemistry at Wartburg College before earning his Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he completed a community pharmacy practice residency through the University of Iowa where he focused primarily on nutritional aspects of care including the use of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements.  He has taught courses for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy on vitamins, minerals, herbs, and nutritional supplements and given many presentations on the subject as well.  He has a passion for improving patient care specifically with regards to the safety and quality of the nutritional supplements and health information people use.  


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