Bruce Gilbert, a trainer I share clients with uses the above statement with his clients.
“I’m working out, so I can eat what I want, right?”
I often hear: “I?ve been exercising much more than before so why am I not losing weight?”
Let’s crunch the numbers.
You work out 4-5 days per week at a pretty rigorous clip – maybe burning 300-500 calories per session. Let’s say the average amount of calories per day utilized is equal to 450 or about 2000 additional calories per week which is a credit in your health account. Sounds pretty good so far, right?
Your metabolism calls for about 1800 calories per day. You eat fairly reasonably – after all – you consulted with an R.D.- with 500 calories per meal and a reasonable snack. However, a few times a week you spurge on the cookies lying around the office and usually have 2 glasses of wine a few times per week.
Although these splurges sound reasonable they can add up to equaling the extra calories you utilized from working out. In other words, a debit to your health account.
2 medium cookies 3x per week equals 1200 calories and 2 glasses of wine 3x per week equals 720 calories or close to 2000 calories per week.
If you add in anything extra you are now officially over the amount of extra calories you so diligently burned during your exercise sessions. And, now you’ve overdrawn your account.
What drives weight loss?
Research shows diet drives the weight loss and exercise maintains it. Exercise keeps your metabolism strong while you cut back on food so your weight will not rebound. It maintains muscle integrity besides contributing to improved sleep, mood and sense of well-being.
But…it can’t make up for eating more than your metabolism calls for. Although working out is critical to good health it cannot blanket additional calories or a plethora of food.
So enjoy your holidays and the best gift you can give yourself is to eat mindfully – and maintain credit in your nutritional health account.