Do people who exercise tend to have healthier diets?

So, you’ve nailed the fitness regime, but what about your diet?

After all, nutrition accounts for 80% of results when trying to transform your body. However, it is often the trickier part of the equation for many people.

But are you more likely to eat healthily if you are training regularly?

A 2015 study from Indiana University examined exactly this question.

It looked at the eating and exercise habits of more than 6,000 people born between 1980 and 1984 over a variety of time periods.

So what did it find?

Apparently, the more we exercise, the more fresh produce we eat. People who regularly exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes five times per week ate the most fruit and vegetables. Those who exercised the least also ate the least fruit and veg.

It’s a relationship that grew with age, as the healthier participants got older, they ate even more fresh foods.

Gym apple water exercise diet Shutterstock Strong Fit Well

So how come?

The Indiana University team linked the study’s findings to a phenomenon known as the “transfer effect”. This is when learning new skills and developing in one life area sets off the desire for improvements in another.

It found that exercise triggered diet improvements, even when a nutrition overhaul wasn’t in the original plan.

That’s great news for people trying to achieve major results. In order to see change, nutrition is an area that definitely needs to be addressed – whether you are trimming down or bulking up.

After all, the simple act of exercising will change your nutritional requirements. So, you need to make sure you are eating well to support your body.

It’s also positive for people simply hoping to become healthier. Especially as scientists now say we need to be eating 10 serves of fruit and vegetables per day rather than five if we want the best chance of avoiding chronic diseases or an early death.

Fruit veg Shutterstock Strong Fit Well

Research from the School of Public Health at Imperial College shows eating up to 800g of fruit and vegetables – equivalent to 10 portions – is associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.

Exercise can deliver a wide range of benefits to your mind and body, but it’s only one part of the wellness picture.  Thankfully, it seems like the active among us are apparently already more inclined to reach for the fruit and veg.

If that’s not you, then it’s time to get on board.


Do you try to have both a good workout regime and a healthy diet?





Posted by

Journo turned fitness professional, passionate about helping people to live a healthier and happier life! A long way from London, I now call Sydney home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s