Do you ever get in a great workout, sweat your butt off, and then you tell yourself that you burned a bunch of calories so you deserve that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream??? Maybe before that, you had a burger and fries too? I guarantee you just ate more calories than you burned. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we set out with great intentions, we exercise and eat right, but make poor decisions that get in our way towards progress.
The other day, I went for mountain bike ride on a trail I had never ridden before in St. James, MO. It was a very rugged, 17 miles in the Missouri summer heat and humidity. I sweated so much that I could wring out my shorts at the end of the ride! You would think I burned a gazillion calories and that I could eat whatever I wanted.
The truth is, looking at the data from my ride, I only burned 741 calories (this is from my
heart rate monitor, synced with my GPS), that was with 2.5 hours of riding. So 2.5 hours of intense mountain biking only burned 75% of that pint of Ben and Jerry’s…
So my point is, don’t get into this mindset that if you workout, you deserve to eat whatever you want. You can usually find a way in your head to justify eating anything you want. You simply cannot out-train a bad diet. It always breaks down to calories in vs. calories out.
If you are looking to improve your body composition, you must practice habits and skills that lead to solid nutritional habits. That’s not to say you can never have ice cream again, all or nothing never works, but that’s a whole different subject.