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Can You Exercise Your Way Out of a Bad Diet?

Can You Exercise Your Way Out of a Bad Diet?

I love sweets! Donuts…there’s nothing better than a Krispy creams hot off the press; Coley’s chocolate gooey butter cake; Cold Stone ice cream…I haven’t met a sweet I didn’t like. I proudly hold the title for the most dessert eaten by any family dinner and I come from an Italian family that can eat-so that’s saying something!

I was a dessert eater justified by exercise. My Sunday Funday, when the weather is warm, consists of biking on the Katy Trail from my house to Flat Branch. Just plopping down at the bar was enough of an indication for the bartender to start my order for the skillet chocolate chip cookie with a double scoop of tiger stripe ice-cream. What’s a girl to do while waiting 25 minutes for the cookie to cook? Drink a green chili beer, with side of bloody mary mix of course! The bike ride back home became a little more challenging with a stomach full of beer and cookies, but I convinced myself I was “working it off”.

The good news was I put just as much passion into my exercise as I do eating. I LOVE going to the gym and find it an outlet for extra energy and stress relief. So, I truly didn’t mind heading out to the trail for a run to justify the cookie that I had just eaten. It wasn’t until a few months ago when Scott Schutte at Columbia Strength and Conditioning came into my life and I began logging in what I was eating into that I became aware of what I was eating. One day I logged in my food intake and it said:




Yes, someone who exercises will have a higher need for caloric intake but it’s the quality of what you are eating that fuels your body. I was basically fueling with grade F fuel (F for Flunking) because my body was addicted to sugar. I craved it!

Like they say, the first step is awareness. I, Angela Huhman am addicted to sugar! Step 2 for me was education and action. I began changing my everyday habits. When I pinned recipes on my “Yum” board I pinned ground chicken burgers and searched for healthy recipes. I changed what I bought at the store and where I shopped. Making slight changes at first, such as adding spinach in my eggs and chia seeds in my smoothies were pretty easy and didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows at home. Harder to change, where uncontrolled environments. Meetings at Panera and not having the pumpkin muffin, (I did slip once), going to dinner with friends, and family dinners were much harder.

What I did find was that with time, I began to control my environment as best I could, and influence my inner circle. Together we made better choices. I would set up business meetings at Main Squeeze for a healthy lunch (Braveheart with whey protein is my favorite), showing up with a spinach salad at the family dinner and providing my work family with Laura Lee’s protein dots became the new norm. Not only do I continue to make better choices, but my family and friends do also.

After my 30 day “sugar detox” I can now celebrate consistently high energy levels, better sleep, improved athletic performance and generally happier and feeling more healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I still crave sugar, but when I do I substitute natural sugar by grabbing fruits like strawberries or an orange, I keep sugar free mints at my desk to avoid the donuts on the counter. My splurges are dark chocolate covered blueberries and Edy’s half the fat French Silk Ice cream. My advice is to start watching what you eat and then making small adjustments that lead to big impacts. Over a little bit of time and some forgiveness for slipping every once in a while, cutting out unhealthy food choices isn’t that hard. Anyone can do it!

If you’re ready to make changes in your eating habits and change your cravings, check out New York Best Selling Book, “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. 

Change your habits, change your cravings, and change your life!

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