Extra Food because I Exercised

- POSTED ON: Jan 19, 2013


Exercise will make us FIT, and
If It causes us to eat more,
it will ... indirectly ... cause us to be

The 3 Most Dangerous Words in Weight Management
                               By Yoni Freedhoff

"Because I exercised."

For folks trying to lose or maintain their weight, those three words are dangerous. Our perception of the virtues of exercise often makes us feel as if we deserve or have earned more—an extra helping, an indulgent sweet, or, in my case, a beer or two.

But at what cost?

The calories burned through exercise are anything but fair. To be blunt, you simply can't outrun your fork. What you can consume in minutes might easily take you hours to burn off, yet many people consider exercise to be the bigger player in weight management.

Perhaps the belief comes from television shows like The Biggest Loser. Each episode ends with a "last chance" workout—as if a few hours of overly aggressive gym work will immediately translate into weight loss.

Perhaps it stems from the food industry, which goes out of its way to explain obesity as a consequence of a lack of exercise.

Wherever it comes from, the belief that weight is something you can simply burn off if you hit the gym hard enough is firmly entrenched in the gospel of public perception.

Truth be told, unless you make a living through exercise, for the average Joe or Jane, exercise is likely responsible for—at most—20 to 25 percent of their weight, leaving diet responsible for the lion's share.

While there is no behavior more conducive to good health than regular exercise, if weight's your concern, food is where it's at, and there are two incredibly straightforward things you can do to help.

1. Keep a food diary. I do. In fact, I'm on my longest streak ever, at 550 days without missing an entry. It takes a few months to get good at, but once you're there, it'll take you fewer than five minutes of work a day; five minutes of work that clinical studies have proven will double your weight loss. You can keep food diaries old school with a pad and paper, or download one of the dozens of apps that'll do the math for you.

2. Cook from fresh, whole ingredients. Don't worry about low this or low that, just focus on transforming raw ingredients into homemade meals and you'll be playing it far safer than you would be by dining out or eating a highly processed, but healthy sounding meal.

At the end of the day, if weight's your concern, you're far better off spending time in your kitchen with a pen, than time in your gym with a barbell. And if "because I exercised" really translated well, the gyms that fill up in January wouldn't be empty by March.

 I don't try to follow Rule No 2. Although  I cook a lot, I often eat processed foods. Sometimes I choose to cook with "fresh" "whole" ingredients, and sometimes I choose not to do so.
However, I totally agree with Rule No 1.  I've been keeping a food diary now since September 2004.  I use a computer software program called DietPower,  This morning it tells me that during that 3044 days, I have no missing data.  This means that for the past consecutive 3044 days, I have logged all of my food intake into that computer food diary.  THIS is what helped me lose weight, and I know that it is the primary reason that I'm now beginning my 8th year of maintaining my  weight-loss.

Leave me a comment.

Please Login to comment on this blog.

Existing Comments:

On Jan 19, 2013 wrote:
Totally agree with you Phyllis. I too use DietPower for record keeping and calorie count. Use no processed foods, and this time I am doing absolutely no exercise of any kind. I will lose the bodyfat first and then exercise for fitness. Because my diet is pretty much constant at 61 percent fat, 24 percent protein, and 11 percent carbohydrates, I am not muscle wasting. It's working for me.

On Jan 20, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks John. It sounds like your plan for Behavior is really working, and I look forward to watching your Results.

On Jan 20, 2013 Kae wrote:
i am finding that rule no. 1 is much easier than rule no. 2! i'm also using dietpower to keep my food diary ... i tried another app because i was told all about the wonders of scanning w/my smartphone but i honestly didn't think that feature was worth giving up all the features of dietpower that i love ... that said i do hope when dietpower releases it's phone app it will have that scan feature as that WAS very convenient ;-) i'm beyond amazed and impressed at your consistent record of logging ... and i'm working now to achieve the same record knowing that i will be logging my food for the rest of my life as i am determined to maintain the loss that i will be working so hard to achieve over the next 16 +/- months :-) with your example i know that keeping my food diary is more apt to get me to my goal weight (and to maintain it) than cooking with only "fresh" "whole" foods ;-) or exercise ... it's all about consistently eating less than (or the same as) you burn!!

On Jan 20, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Kae, For me, Rule 1 -- logging my food -- was essential for my weight loss, and is STILL essential for my maintenance. I see Rule 2 as merely a Diet suggestion. It isn't Bad for "health", but how MUCH food and the caloric Density of the food eaten would determine whether or not that rule will be helpful for weight-loss and/or maintenance. I haven't sucumbed to the "real food" Dogma, and see it simply as one of the Diet Alternatives that works for some and not for others. I didn't follow the Diet suggested in Rule 2 during my weight-loss phase, and so far ... haven't chosen to do so here in maintenance.

<< Previous Blog
Search Blogs
DietHobby is a Digital Scrapbook of my personal experience in weight-loss-and-maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all. Every diet works for Someone, but no diet works for Everyone.
- View 2021
- View 2020
- View 2019
- View 2018
- View 2017
- View 2016
- View 2015
- View 2014
- View 2013
- View 2012
- View 2011

Mar 01, 2021
DietHobby: A Digital Scrapbook.
2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.

Jun 01, 2020
DietHobby is my Personal Blog Website.
DietHobby sells nothing; posts no advertisements; accepts no contributions. It does not recommend or endorse any specific diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, supplements, foods, products, activities, or memberships.

May 01, 2017
DietHobby is Mobile-Friendly.
Technical changes! It is now easier to view DietHobby on iPhones and other mobile devices.