Exercising to eat….
I hear this all of the time, and I certainly used to believe it too…until I really started paying attention to what food actually means to the health of my body.
I used to say, and I know you have all heard it before, “I exercise so I can eat what I want”. Or, “Today I burned 2000 calories so I can eat a couple of fast food burgers and maybe cake and pie!”
Really? Where did this belief actually come from? It is time to exploit one of the biggest myths about dieting (I HATE that word because it is associated with stress and negativity):
“Calories in Vs. Calories out”
THROW OUT THIS BELIEF NOW!!!! Your health DEPENDS ON IT!
This statement is of the assumption that the way to lose weight is to count your calories and as long as your calories in are less than your calories out, weight loss is achieved. If our bodies worked on simple math, this would actually work. Here is the problem. This statement has one MAJOR assumption – losing weight = greater health. This statement alone couldn’t be further from the truth!
There is more to health than calories. This type of belief system has lead to the wonderful creation of “portion control garbage food”. Now they make chips, cookies, chocolate bars etc. in very easy to manage calorie portion controls. We now are marketed to buy food in easy, convenient 100 calorie bags which cost almost double the amount, and not to mention the extra packaging!
The commercials advertise their same garbage product to be healthier now, simply for showing you how to limit consumption. Although there is a teeny tiny benefit to that (meaning instead of eating a whole family sized portion all at once, you are limited to a smaller amount), that will NEVER make the garbage product any more healthier!
Look, if it was all about calories in vs. calories out, I could literally take my allotted 1800 calories per day and feed myself garbage food, exercise to burn off more calories and possibly lose weight. I will ask you, if someone took their 1800 calories per day and ate a plant based diet and clean meat – full of foods that were rich in nutrients, and someone else ate 1800 calories but were only concerned with the number and not the actual food, they both may lose weight. If weight loss is your only goal, you could say that they both had similar results.
BUT…..who is healthier??? Simply losing weight is not the defining measure when it comes to health. What this belief system has lead to is many powders, juices and garbage “food”, marketing themselves as a “health product” when their results focus solely on weight loss! If I sold you poison in a bottle, you will likely lose weight, but you also will die an early death!
We have to THROW OUT this model of calorie counting as a way of weight loss and health. I always preach about QUALITY calories! Eat REAL food, listen to your body’s cues of being full. Be PRESENT when you eat. Always ask yourself before eating anything, “Is this food going to nourish my body, or is it going to challenge my body?” Eat foods that don’t have to come with a label. If it has a label, it’s likely not food! I guarantee once you start doing that, your body will be healthier! When you eat real food, you do not need to calorie count. Your body will tell you when you have had enough, and you will lose the cravings. You will find yourself having more energy, your skin will clear up, your body will express health!
I am not saying to be perfect every time, but if you are exercising to burn calories so you can eat fast food burgers and fries, drink booze and eat candy and cookies and think you are tricking your body – you aren’t.
Think about it! After exercising, your body is starving to replenish the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids etc. that were used up during your exercise. If you replenish with a meal of calorie rich, mal-nourishing food like fast food, low quality powders (poison powders I call them) and food like substances all in the name of balancing calories – how can you expect your body to heal and recover from the demands you requested of your body? Do you think your body might be at higher risk of injury and more likely to have a health problem if this type of behaviour is chronic?
Would you EVER put regular fuel in a high performance sports car and expect it to perform just as well? Why wouldn’t you give your body (your vehicle for life) the same respect?!
Have you known people who looked super extremely fit on the outside, exercised everyday and STILL suffered a heart attack or were diagnosed with other health aliments?
Listen folks, whether someone is truly healthy or not is multi-factorial. But one thing I can say for sure, if this describes your eating habits, you HAVE TO RETHINK THE WAY YOU EAT! It may just save your life!
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