I know this happens a lot. You work out extra hard. You ate well all day. You feel like a rock star. You feel like a major bad ass. Your inner “let’s do something we shouldn’t” brain is telling you that you deserve to have something extra. You deserve to treat yo-self. After all, you just burned an extra 378 calories during that intense, in-your-face, balls to the wall workout. It’s tiiiiiiiime.
You start to get that excited feeling because you are going to eat something yummy and garbage-y at the same time. You know in your head you really don’t want to go over your macros or calories or just plain overeat, but you deserve it, right? I mean, after all that workout was really intense. After all, you about killed yourself. After all, you worked so hard.
So you find the food you are going to eat. Let’s say it’s ice cream. Because ice cream is one of your favorite things. Ben and Jerry are your BFFs. The flavor is Americone Dream. Mmmmmm. You are excited. Your mouth is watering thinking about it. The waffle cone pieces, the crunchy and the sweet. You can taste the creamy caramel and the fudge. You can taste the cold and creamy vanilla ice cream. The whole combination is perfection. Just so good. Mmmmm. You just can’t stop yourself. It’s delicious and you get lost in the taste. You get lost in the feeling. You just get lost. You don’t care. You just eat and eat and eat. Pretty soon you look down and realize you ate the whole pint. You take a look at the nutrition label. Ummm, oh crap. One serving is 21 grams of fat, 41 carbs and 6 protein. You think, that’s not so bad. But then you look a little bit closer. There are three freaking servings in the container? Whaaaaaaat???? Now you recalculate and realize there were 64 grams of fat, 123 carbs and 17 protein in one pint. A whopping 1140 calories.
You deserve it though right? Fuck no, you don’t deserve it. If you want to plan this into your day and still hit your macros, sure. But if you eat this just because you had a hard and intense workout, no, you do not deserve it.
Make no mistake, exercise is good for us, but it doesn’t burn as much as you think.
Because we humans are always trying to game the system and always looking for a quick fix or whatever fix, we think we can do that. Intense exercise can lead to overeating. Look what you just did with that ice cream. We replace what we think we earned by exercising, with more food. If the tracker tells you that you burned 500 calories and you are going to replace those 500 calories with food, just remember you probably really didn’t burn an extra 500 calories. You can see you just ate way more than you normally would have. This is where we get ourselves in trouble. You need to realize it doesn’t work that way and we don’t get to automatically eat more food because we had an intense workout.
Don’t take that number as a sign of deserving more food. You deserve to be healthy, happy and powerful. You deserve to be at a place where you are comfortable with your body. You deserve to be able to live a long and healthy life. That’s what you deserve, not more food.