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Gemma Atkinson’s Training Blog: You Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet

Actress Gemma Atkinson is taking on a 12-week transformation with Ultimate Performance. Her goal, to get in the best shape of her life.

The Emmerdale actress and Key 103 Radio Show Host is blogging her progress every week, so make sure to follow for all the high and the lows, tips and tricks and inside knowledge of a UP body transformation…

They say ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’ and this is something I’ve found out the hard way for myself this week.

I wasn’t 100% consistent with my diet and my gym performance, my sleep and my body has suffered because of it.

Week 2 went amazingly well – the sessions were great and I was pushed to the extreme (as usual) and hit PBs on almost every exercise. I dropped weight and body fat again and it was great.

Gemma Ultimate Performance


But then in Week 3 I have gone up 1kg on the scales,  my body fat has dropped only by 0.2% (which is not a lot) and it was because I wasn’t consistent during the week.

I was stupidly busy at work and it’s completely my fault and I thought I’d prepped enough food and I hadn’t.

So I got caught short and I was at a charity event and it was a three-course meal and it was either eat what was available, or don’t eat for literally six hours.

I had leak and potato soup, then a chicken dish, which was in a creamy sauce and came with gnocchi, then it was lemon meringue pie (but I didn’t have that, I had a coffee and sat and watched everyone else eating it with resentment because I was just so hungry).

It just proves that if you don’t plan your meals out, that’s when you suffer.

Had I had my own meals to eat, it wouldn’t have even entered my mind. This is my meal – this is what I’m doing.

It’s my own fault. Now I have to step it up. Mark my trainer has said training-wise I train hard and I train good, but it’s just being consistent with meals now.


When people aren’t 100% on any diet they can get mental guilt – but for me, it’s not a case of that.

It’s a case of my palette has adjusted to my meals now so the food felt very heavy on my stomach and I instantly had stomach ache after trying to eat it, especially after eating the creamy stuff.

It wasn’t really worth it, to be honest. I didn’t sleep well when I got home, even though I’d been up for over 20 hours by the time I’d got back.

It just shows, if you don’t fuel your body with good nutrition everything else suffers.

I don’t see it as a setback though because I know what to do to rectify it. It’s more disheartening to feel that that’s how quick things can change with your body and the way you feel.

The good thing is that my body responds very quickly to training and to a clean diet, so it’s easy for me to lose.

Gemma Ultimate Performance


But on the negative side, it responds very quickly if I don’t train and if I don’t diet, so it’s easy to gain – so if I ever go on an all-inclusive holiday I’m screwed!

I think with any programme you’re bound to have days when you don’t feel as great – especially with the female menstrual cycle; there are times of the month when you feel horrendous.

For me now, all I want to do is eat bread and pasta and pizza, because that’s what I normally do at that time of the month.

So it’s just getting your head around it and getting mentally back on track, rather than just physically.

I’m going to keep consistent and I’m going to keep this day in my head the next time I’m caught short or the next time I’m thinking ‘I want something sweet’ – I’ll remember just how tough this session was on the wrong nutrition and it will stop me from eating it.

Gemma Ultimate Performance

Catch up with Gemma’s Week 1 blog and how she lost 5lbs in just seven days weight training at UP. 

People say you can out-train a bad diet and you 1,000% can’t!

For me, the food is way more important than anything – because without the right nutrition and without the right fuel, you can’t lift your best, you can’t run your best, you can’t sleep your best, you can’t function your best.

Food is key.

It’s very easy on a diet to cave in from one lapse and then abandon everything and go mad, but don’t beat yourself up about it.

One bad meal doesn’t have to turn into a bad day and then a bad week; as long as you’ve got your cut-off point, you can’t really beat yourself up.

I look at it like ‘everyone’s human, welcome to the club’ for anyone who is dieting and training and on this kind of journey with me.

You’ve just got to make sure things don’t spiral. If it’s a one-off it’s done; shelve it and move on.

If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to us about our Personal Training Plans. 

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