I’ve tested this. The heaviest I ever got was the most active time of my life. I was in my 20s, on my feet 10-16 hours per day, logging far in excess of 30,000 steps, and doing cardio AND at least 10 hours of lifting per week. I gained 60lbs in less than 20 weeks. I have NEVER met or even heard OF a person trying to lose weight who has an activity level in excess of my highest activity level. So I know for an inconvertible fact that you cannot do it. I ran the experiment. I performed the science. I have the data. And I’ve been gathering thousands of case studies on this for the past 15 years, let alone the 30+ years that I’ve been thinking, studying, obsessing about health and fitness.
Clinical studies confirm it. Researchers have presented the numbers. But it’s bigger than that. If you eat to grow, your activity is incapable of overcoming a growth signal. Activity merely influences what you will grow, or, if you’re eating to reduce size, amplify THAT signal.
Growth begets growth. When the cascades of growth factors flourish in the body, you will support that growth with... you got it: more growth. It’s not just that eating a lot pumps insulin out like a banshee. It’s that glucose volatility increases hunger and cravings. You then continue to feed the growth cascade. The body tries to grow. When it approaches a point where building material is insufficient to continue growing you, hunger and cravings will drive you to bring in more constituent material (ie - food). Then you grow. And so on.
I can grow bigger no matter how high my activity. I’ve proven this multiple times. It’s a biological law, not an opinion. Eat vegan. Eat paleo. Eat the Mediterranean Diet. I’ve been able to gain 20+lbs on any of them, no matter how high my activity. Why? Because growth begets growth. Haven’t babies and children been able to grow hundreds of pounds of body mass eating vegan, or paleo, or Mediterranean diet? Haven’t children been able to grow into adults while eating whole food for far more than 30 days?
Show me one adult whose activity is higher than growing children. IF CHILDREN CAN GROW BIGGER, YOU WILL. The name of the diet and the level of activity matters not. What matters is eating like a grown adult, not a child. Eat like an athlete, not like a child. Eat like someone who has agency and control of her destiny, not like a child. Whatever it is you do, whatever diet program toward which you trend, just don’t eat it like a child. That’s it. Because, unless you’re an elite level athlete, your activity is never going to supersede my highest activity where I gained 60lbs.
Yes. Lift. Yes. Be active. But don’t for one nanosecond believe those things can undo an overarching theme of life-self-sabotage. You absolutely cannot outwork your nutrition... ever.