Well I wish this one were true. When I started working out, I assumed that if I worked out hard I did not have to make any changes to my diet. I would work out daily and started to become discouraged because I was not seeing the results I wanted. The more research I did the more I started to realize that shedding pounds was more about what you ate then working out.
Individual metabolism is what determines how many calories you will burn during rest and during exercise. If you are eating more calories than you are burning, you will eventually be gaining fat no matter how hard you had worked at the gym that day. I know I have mentioned it before but I am a huge believer in keeping track of the calories and food that you ate that day. I keep a daily log, so that way I try not to go over it on a regular day. The fit bit and it’s app is great for this. I also have used my fitness pal, this is also an app that you can find for your iphone or ipad. There are many great sites out here on the web as well that can help you keep track of calories, nutrition and activity.
That being said, it is the hard workouts that allow me to indulge occasionally. When I say occasionally I do not mean everyday. Since I workout on a regular basis, I burn more calories even at rest than if I sat all day. I treat myself a few times a week depending on the week. I find this does not effect my body, but if I did this daily eventually my workouts would not be able to keep up with the extra calories. Even though you exercise you will still gain weight if you are over indulgent on a regular basis.
When it comes to diet you need to look at foods that will help you achieve the results you want. Especially if you are engaging in a lot of physical activity. Unless you are running marathons you may not need as many extra calories as you think. I find the apps I listed above also help me determine how many extra calories I need. All I have to do is enter my activity that day and it will adjust accordingly. Not all calories are the same either, you do not want to fill up on empty calories. What you want is to use your allocated calories towards food that will be fuel for your body. You want foods that will give you energy to complete your workout and foods that will help you meet your daily needs for vitamins and minerals so that you can build a stronger, healthier you.
How often do you over indulge? Do you food journal?