Tuesday Tip: You Can’t Out-exercise Diet 🏃🏼♀️
‘I bet you can eat anything you want’ – I hear that at least once a week! Well I am a perfect example of how you can’t out-exercise diet. I teach 27 classes a week, and I’m on my feet all day with pt clients etc. I average 120,000 steps a week, so I’m pretty active. You’d think I could eat what I wanted … sadly not…
If I eat over 1700 cals I put on fat… Why? because the body is very good at adapting to physical stress. It’s extremely hard to out-exercise diet for any normal person i.e. not an olympic athlete on a training regime of several hours in the gym a day.
Think about how hard you have to work to burn 400 cals – a tough 45 min spin class maybe? Then think about how fast you can eat them back… one portion of chips… done! And as you do more exercise and get fitter your calorie burn will decrease, e.g. I’m now pretty “spin fit” – my body is used to it and I’m lucky if I burn 200 cals (yep it sucks!). The only exception to all this is if you are suddenly dramatically increasing your exercise levels from a low starting level – then you will find you burn quite a lot initially but it will eventually tail off.
Also most of our activity trackers (particularly wrist based ones) are inaccurate. So if it tells you you’re burning 600 cals, you’re probably burning far less. A recent study compared calories from activity trackers for various workouts (cross trainer, spin, treadmill etc) and found they over estimated calories burned by as much as 40%!
So does this mean we shouldn’t bother working out? No of course not! Workouts and general activity (energy burned from daily life activities) all help to increase the calories we use, build lean muscle, keep our hearts and lungs healthy etc so it’s vital! What you shouldn’t be doing is eating these back. They’re a bonus; an additional help towards that calorie deficit. Track them, log them, but don’t treat them as a green light to eat what you want. Also look beyond workouts and increase overall activity;the time spent outside the gym burns more cals than that 45 min workout so try to maximise that time- get up, walk about, fidget etc
Happy Tuesday 🤗