How many times have you had a particularly active day and said to yourself, “Well, I walked a lot today, so I can eat this burger and fries.” Do you go on bike rides in the summer and the end goal is the ice cream stand? Have you run 3 miles or more, and then indulged in the pizza you’ve been craving? I hate to rain on your parade, but, you will only gain fat with this behavior.
You’re not burning as many calories as you think you are. Calm down with that calorie counter on your wrist – it’s usually lying to you. A common misconception is that, because you feel exhausted after a workout, you burned a lot of calories and need a big re-feed. This is not usually the case.
You’re eating back more calories than you actually burned. Let’s say, in reality, you burned 350 calories running a 5k race. One small slice of pizza will add back about the same number of calories… but did you really eat just one small slice of pizza?
All “calories” are not created equal. I wish fat loss was as simple as calories in, calories out, but it’s not. By eating junk at the end of your workout, you’re putting an immediate halt on your fat burning process. Your body is looking for specific nutrients at that time to repair and restore. Feed it quality calories, and your metabolism will reap the benefits later.
In summary, please remove any thoughts from your mind that equate exercise with junk food! It’s not about “how much exercise do I have to do so I can eat this?” It’s about how you can most effectively build your metabolism and optimize your body functions. This process starts with a mindset of exercise as a benefit, not a justification!