Are You Making This Common Weight Loss Mistake?
Quick one for you today. Do you “eat back” the calories you burn through exercise? STOP! You’re not alone… but here’s why none of my clients does it anymore!
Counting calories and using apps like MyFitnessPal are great tools for losing weight. We all know that calories in/calories out are key to managing your weight.
So… if you “burn” 400 calories doing cardio, you can eat 400 extra calories and still be in your deficit. Right?
Erm…. probably not. Sorry. If you’re still “eating your exercise calories”, you could be stalling your weight loss. Or even putting weight ON!
But how come? Surely is weight loss is a simple maths equation, then you SHOULD add exercise calories to your daily intake?
The problem with “eating your exercise calories”
How do you know what you’re burning?
Do you really know how many calories you burn in a gym workout, an exercise class, or out on a run? No, you don’t. Nobody can tell you accurately. So you’re guesstimating at best… and we all know where that leads!
It’s human nature to be optimistic about these things! You’re more likely to overestimate calorie burn (and underestimate calories “in”) if you take this approach. Over the course of a week, this could easily lead to a calorie imbalance of 500-1000. Not what you want when you’re trying to create a calorie deficit.
Machines are unreliable
If you’re still using the calorie bit on gym machines, stop! These are really inaccurate. Some of them don’t even ask your weight. At best, they are giving a vague estimate of calorie output for someone your size. But it’s not personal to you, and you can’t take that number as gospel. Use it as a guide (instead of the time) if you like, but do not think “great, 250 calories burned, I’ll eat 250 more calories today”.
You can cope with a bigger deficit than you think.
If you want to drop body fat, push for a calorie deficit. You can cope with more than you think. And isn’t that the reason you’re doing exercise in the first place? After all, who wants to spend 30 minutes doing cardio, only to eat back those calories? You’ve just wasted half an hour of your day. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Use that 30 minutes to achieve your goal. A calorie deficit!
It takes so much longer!
If you “eat back” the calories you burn through exercise, your weight loss goal will take so much longer to achieve. Trust me on this.
You know how many times I hear people justify the 400kcal muffin from Costa because they’ve done a 45-60 minute workout in the gym, try not to be that person 🙂