I know what you are thinking: B.J. - you have lost your mind! Now you’re telling me not work out? Well not exactly….to build on my previous blog about health and fitness, I wanted to dive into an area where I think many people have it wrong. Working out by itself will not make you lose weight. In fact - some people may actually gain a little weight. Here are my observations and see if you can relate.
“I run to eat!”
People think just because they run or work out, they can eat whatever they want! Anyone ever hear of Jim Fixx? The challenge here is that running will burn a few extra calories, but it will never overcome a bad diet. To burn approximately 2500/3000 calories or, as some say “a pound of fat,” you would have to run the distance of a marathon – 26.2 miles! Ready, Set, Go! Ok, now that you are back, let me continue.
If we use this type of logic - then we have a lot of running to do! What is even worse is saying “I can have the extra ice cream or cookie because I do run”. The running may help with the weight you have now, but if you are adding even more bad food choices, then you may add more weight!
“Running or working out makes you hungrier! “
This IS a problem – as you work out, your body will crave more food and calories. If you work out and do not add the extra calories (because you are cutting back) then you will feel miserable and be very lethargic - making it even harder to continue working out. Listen to your body, feed it when it is hungry, but do not feed it junk!
“I use Sports products to make my workouts more productive!”
This is the industry’s biggest lie and myth! You do not need Gatorade, or power bars, or anything else for a typical 1 - 1.5 hour workout. Our bodies are designed with about 90 minutes of pure fuel in our system. We do not need to consume unnecessary calories through sugary sports products to get us through them. Note – I am not referring to endurance athletes or longer workouts. If your workouts are in the 60-90 minutes range, then all you need is water – period!!!! Water is the best thing to take.
Have you even been to a marathon or a triathlon and seen the athletes that are at the back of the pack? Do you not think these folks are working out on a regular basis? Then why are they still heavy if they have been at it for a while? It is because they have only changed one aspect of their life and not dealt with the food!
I also see a lot of people at the gym taking some protein powder or “secret” drink during their workouts. What do they hope to accomplish? By the time the product reaches the muscles through digestion, you are home taking a shower and the workout is finished! Most of these products also contain sugar and chemicals which are detrimental to our health.
The lesson here is this: do not assume that working out will overcome a bad diet. The truth is it takes a very balanced approach. Don’t take television shows like the “Biggest Loser” at their face value, and don’t be lured in by fitness gadgets. Nothing worth having is ever easy and when you take short cuts - you will be disappointed in the end.
Work hard, stay committed, but do it the right way.