“I basically workout so that I can just eat whatever I want.”
Unfortunately, more people than you’d think have this apathetic mindset when it comes to what they eat. However, it does not quite work out that way, if we’re investing our best interest in overall health.
Here are some of the reasons why we can’t just “eat whatever” and wait for a positive outcome, simply because we have implemented exercise into our daily routine:
- Our bodies require a certain amount of energy to keep us running both at surface level and also inside. Not being able to have even just a general idea of how much food you have ingested, could cause an imbalance of energy in our bodies (calorie surplus or calorie deficit). Regularly being in a calorie surplus–eating more than our body expends in a day–can lead to an increase in body fat. Womp.
- A calorie is not just a calorie, when it comes to a human’s complex bodily systems! Picture this: a 400 calorie muffin for breakfast vs. a 400 calorie breakfast that consists of 3 egg whites, a cup of leafy greens, and a half cup of oats and berries–which would you think provides more benefits for your body? Yup, the latter. Egg whites provide protein, the oats have some fiber and healthy grains to keep us full and energized without the “crash” of a sugary muffin, and your berries and leafy greens include a handful of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals you need daily.
- Even if you are someone who is looking to increase muscle mass, which eventually will increase overall weight, you still have to put some thought into your nutrition. It is a challenge to increase lean muscle mass while keeping body fat increases at bay because the types of foods, and amount of foods needed to make this happen can be overwhelming at first! So, if you think it’d be easy by eating a half dozen of donuts for breakfast and a whole pizza post-WOD–even just one day a week–is going to get you to be a lean mean lifting machine, you may have to have a chat with one of your coaches about why this is not your best option! And yikes, talk about a “crash” (donuts) and heartburn (pizza)!
- Ironically, building an apathy towards structured eating habits can have a tendency to give ourselves some “comfort” through eating. We may look to “eating whatever” when we are bored or unchallenged, stressed out, or feel a sort of void in a part of our life. This is where apathy soon turn into harmful habits, and our “Relationship with Food” goes downhill. On the other hand, finding healthy recipes that we enjoy and can prepare, having nutritious snacks and having timed out meals can help us improve that relationship with food, and hopefully, with our self-image.
So no–you can’t out-exercise a bad diet–even if you are lifting some heavy weights and burning hundreds of calories in your CrossFit classes. If you are looking to improve lifelong health and well-being (who doesn’t?) exercising IS important! However, your workout is just one hour of your day, whereas your food and nutrition are much more than that, and play a much larger role in our daily lives.
Interested in learning more about being able to eat less of “whatever” and have more structure?
Schedule a free consultation with one of our nutrition coaches by clicking here.