Expert Personal Trainers Discuss | Can Exercise Balance Out Bad Nutrition - NexGen Fitness Expert Personal Trainers Discuss | Can Exercise Balance Out Bad Nutrition - NexGen Fitness
Expert Personal Trainers Discuss | Can Exercise Balance Out Bad Nutrition

Expert Personal Trainers Discuss | Can Exercise Balance Out Bad Nutrition

Expert Personal Trainers Discuss | Can Exercise Balance Out Bad Nutrition

Since we are about to head into our year end stretch of feasting and celebrating we thought what
better topic to discuss than the importance of making sure our nutrition
stays in line with our goals. We all know that this is the time of year
that our calorie intake increases and, for many, consistency in the gym
starts to decrease. It’s simple to see that this is a recipe for
disaster. While we all can agree that working out less and eating more
will lead to unwanted results, many of us may have the notion in our
head that as long as we workout hard over the next few months that this
should at the least offset the extra increase in calories. We figure at
least we won’t gain any weight right? Unfortunately that may not be the

Let’s discuss this using math (see there is an application for math in our everyday life!). Lets
assume your baseline metabolism is 1,500 calories per day, meaning at
rest without any activity your body would burn 1,500 calories to just
stay alive. Now we add in normal daily activity (we’ll call that 500
calories) a 45 minute weight training workout (let’s say another 500
calories) and 30 minutes of cardio to top it all off (let say 350
calories). Without exercise you will burn 2,000 calories, but with
exercise you will burn 2,850. So assuming we are consistent in working
out 3 times a week, every single week including holidays, you will burn
on average of 2,364 calories a day. So as long as you don’t exceed that
number we should avoid gaining weight. The problem here is just how easy
it is to overeat if we do not track what we eat.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving next month. The Calorie Control Council estimates that the average
American will consume roughly 4,500 calories during a traditional
Thanksgiving meal, not including breakfast and any late evening eating
after the festivities have ended. Lets call it 5,500 calories that day
to be safe, meaning if you didn’t work out on Thanksgiving you would
have consumed an extra 3,500 calories over what you need.  But that’s
just one day right? While that is a fair statement, how many of us
attend multiple parties and dinners during the time around Thanksgiving
and leading into the New Year? How many of these 3,000, 4,000 or more
calorie events will we actually partake in? And let’s not forget how
much Halloween candy we already polished off before these events
started. Ok, so there still may only be a handful of these binge type
days in our near future-as long as we are good every other day we should
still be ok right? Maybe.

Unfortunately, in the weeks to follow there will likely be temptations all around us, from eggnog to
peppermint bark and tons of baked goodies. What many of us will fall
victim to, is not realizing exactly how much snacking we may do. A
cookie here, a cup of apple cider there really adds up. There will be
chips and pie and candy galore surrounding us the next two months and we
need to have willpower if we are going to stay on track towards our
goals. If we go back to our original calculations above we know that for
every additional 350 calories we consume over what we burn we would
need 30 minutes of cardio minimum, and that’s true cardio not going for a
leisurely walk, to burn it off.  So lets look at what some of favorite
holiday foods in terms of calories look like and what it would take to
work them off:

1 Cup of Eggnog-344 calories (30-35 minutes of Jogging)

½ Cup of Stuffing 439 Calories (67 minutes of cycling)

1 Slice of Pecan Pie-532 calories (2hours and 28 minutes of walking)

4 Small Sugar Cookies-340 Calories (40 minutes of the stair climber)

1 cup of Scalloped Potatoes – 228 Calories (19 minutes of swimming)

3 Slices of Honey Glazed Ham – 360 Calories (30-35 minutes on a rowing machine)

Many of us are probably looking at the list above and realizing that we may indeed consume all
of those things in the course of one day and that those items together
total 2,243 calories when eaten in those specific dosages. It’s quite
scary how easy the extra calories can add up on us if we’re not careful.
How many of us have it in us to go for a 5-hour run to work off all the
excess we ate? I don’t. This is why we say that you can’t out exercise
bad nutrition. It’s not only talking about calorically dense junk food,
but also talking about just eating extra in general. It is significantly
easier to intake extra than it is to adjust our exercise output to
match those extra calories. So what do we do? We have to keep track! If
we aren’t paying attention to what we are taking in there is no way,
when it is all said and done, that we will have an accurate picture of
how our nutrition truly was. Now during the holidays this may be less
possible than during other times, and this is where portion control and
limiting social eating and drinking can help keep your intake to a
sustainable level, but even then it will take great willpower.

Now we understand that we focused our attention on the holidays, but being that time of year we
knew it would resonate with those reading this. In reality being smart
about our eating, and watching our intake to ensure we do not get too
far away from our target zone, is a year round process. Ask anyone who
doesn’t keep track of their food intake and you’ll likely find that they
are not experiencing the results they want even though they are busting
their butt in the gym. Think about that bowl of ice cream or stop at
the fast food joint you make from time to time. How many calories does
that set you back? Did it put you over your daily goal, and if so by how
much? In the end every time we eat something it should be with the
mindset “is this worth it?” and “what will it cost me to work this
off?”.  Truth be told, a little indulgence here and there will likely
not derail you, but consistently doing so without accounting for it
will. At the end of the day, you are working hard to reach your goals,
but working out and doing cardio will only get you so far. Nutrition is
both the propeller and the anchor depending on how you approach it.

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