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What happens if you exercise daily but don’t eat well?

by Staff Writer, Health and Science

Maybe you're someone who logs 20 to 30 miles of running each week but frequently indulges in fast food for dinner. Perhaps you diligently monitor your weekday food intake but tend to overindulge on the weekends. Or maybe your kitchen is stocked with chips, cookies, and soda because you believe that your exercise routine keeps you in good shape.

Fruits and vegetables on a table

The concept of eating whatever you desire without consequences may seem like a dream, especially if you've convinced yourself that you'll burn off those extra calories during your next intense cardio session. However, experts emphasize that it doesn't matter if you work out longer or at a higher intensity; exercise cannot completely offset the negative effects of an unhealthy diet.

You can appear slender yet still be in poor health. On social media, the term "skinny fat" is often used informally to describe individuals who appear thin but have a high body fat percentage. A regular gym enthusiast may have minimal subcutaneous fat (the fat directly beneath the skin that's easy to pinch) but a significant amount of visceral fat. Visceral fat is less visible because it surrounds the organs.