But I’m So Hungry!

My biggest issue post-workout is to not grab the most readily available food in my path because while I try extremely hard to keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house at all times; I’m a mommy on a tight budget. And as grocery day nears you are less and less likely to find the good stuff—or much of anything that doesn’t have to be cooked—in my golden pantry. 

That said, I’ve tried to make sure I always have a low-calorie protein shake available so I don’t launch myself towards that granola bar, or worse, that box of Cheez-Its because I know that would be like a giant eraser to my theretofore productive exercise day. 
Most of us who have hit the dreaded plateau are always looking for ways to continue progressing in the healthiest way possible, but I’ve often found that it’s the simplest of solutions that can sometimes offer you the best way out of a doldrum. 
For instance, do you know how many calories you’re actually burning? Sure, there are calorie-counters on bikes and ellipticals and the Fitness Pal app has plenty of guesstimates at what you burn doing everyday tasks as well as actual exercises, but the truth is neither you nor I are likely burning anything close to what we think we are:

…”People grossly overestimate how many calories they burn during exercise, especially when they think it’s high intensity,” says Eric Doucet, Ph.D., a human kinetics professor at the University of Ottawa. It doesn’t help when your boot-camp instructor says each class blasts 1,000 calories (a total exaggeration) or you check the counters on cardio machines (ellipticals have been reported to overestimate expenditure by 42 percent).  

“Estimating calorie output can be an inexact science,” says Georgie Fear, a registered dietitian for Precision Nutrition. That’s because it involves factors like age, weight, body temperature, metabolic rate, and hormonal changes (to name a few) that are complicated, difficult to track, and ever fluctuating. Many cardio machines, for example, factor in just age and weight—and are calibrated for men. What’s more, at higher intensities, or as the machines get older, the readouts may become less accurate. 

So basically what you’re likely doing by eating big after going big is negating every calorie you’ve burned in the process—and possibly tacking on a few unkind ones in the process.

The safest bet is to keep it simple. Prepare your post-workout snack before you actually workout and try to increase your training efforts as much as possible; really challenge your limits and see where that takes you.

We are always capable of more than we think and if progress is what you’re looking for, you’re going to have to work hard to get it.


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