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"If I workout hard, I can eat whatever I want!"

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THE #3 MYTH OF THE GYM

The 3rd biggest myth of the gym is that if you workout hard 3-5 times per week, you can eat what you want and still reach your fitness goals. I wish this were the case. If it were I would be eating out every night and enjoying fine wines and craft beers!! Unfortunately, for the bulk of us who work out consistently, when it comes to a fitness goal somewhere between 65-80% of your results are going to be due to your DIET (leaving only 20-35% coming from your exercise).
If you think about this, it actually makes sense...let's start with how many hours are in a week (for those of you who don't want to do the math it's 168). Now let's take someone who works out a TON, let's say 5 hours per week...for that person who works out 5 times per week (WAY above the normal average), that leaves them with 163 hours per week where they can potentially MESS UP all the work that they put in!

Now, let's look at this on a caloric level. The sustainable healthy rate of losing body fat is 1-2lbs of fat per week. To do this, you have to be in a caloric deficit by the end of the week. Each pound of fat equates to 3500 kcal (kcals, by the way, are simply a measurement of heat...think of it like degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius, just a lot smaller). This means that for someone to lose 1lb per week, they would need to burn 500 kcals more than they consumed for that day:

(-500 kcal/day) x 7days/week= (-3500kcal)= 1lb of fat


So this is what is required to lose 1lb per week. Now, let's look at some possible choices we can make that might jeopardize all of our good work! Let's take the idea of not even eating what you want all the time, or even for 1 day, but let's just look at the possibility of ONE MEAL:

  • Pre-course Meal: 1 basket of Bread and Oil (750- 2000kcal), Chips an Salsa (500- 1200kcal)
  • Appetizer: Spinach and Artichoke Dip (750- 1250kcal), Egg Rolls (900- 1300kcal), Enchiladas (1000-1400kcal), 1 cup of Tomato Bisque soup (500- 800kcal)
  • Main Course: 2 Tacos (600-1250kcal), Steak (not including anything else) (500- 1200kcal), "The Salmon" (not including anything else) (375- 800kcal), ANY pasta (1200- 3000kcal!!)
  • Drinks: Wine (150- 220kcal/glass), Beer (100- 250kcal/glass), Martinis (200- 400kcal/glass), Margaritas (200- 600kcal/glass)
  • Desserts: Don't even get me started...basically anything you order (with the exception of fruit) is 400- 2000kcal

These ranges were gathered from many Mexican, Italian, and Steak restaurants through their own online menus and myfitnesspal.com.

Essentially, if someone SPLITS between two people the pre-course, the appetizer, the dessert, and has their own main course with maybe 2 drinks, they realistically will have a meal that is between 2750kcal (and that's being REALLY GOOD) to 6500kcal!! Realistically, people who go out casually for one meal per week and don't go out of their way to eat poorly will have a 4000kcal meal. To give you some perspective when people eat at home, typically their dinners range from 400- 800kcal...so for eating out THAT'S 3200- 3600kcal MORE IN JUST ONE MEAL!!! That essentially added 1lb of fat onto someone in just one sitting, effectively cancelling out the entire week's work!!

This is a promise by the way. I have had soooooooo many clients that have told me, "No those tacos were plain. Believe me, Madison, this was very lean salmon with just some rice and veggies...not bad at all." This is B.S. because most people don't comprehend the amount of oil and butter that food is normally cooked with. Have you ever watched "Chopped" on the Food Network? If you watch those chefs make a sauce for 4 plates, they put a bunch of stuff in a blender, turn it on, open the lid to flip a bottle of olive oil upside down, and leave it to poor while they go cook for 10-15 seconds...Oh yeah, and then they will throw 1/2- 2 sticks of butter in it later...

There is some good news though! Typically, when you eat at home it is going to be 1/2- 1/3 of the calories than if you ate the same thing at a restaurant (plus most people don't have 3 course meals with a pre-course beforehand)...And for those of us who still want to have lives and go out, there are a few options:

1. Don't touch the pre-course bread/chips- ask them to take it away so you aren't tempted.

2. If you need an appetizer, stay lean with a veggie platter, a cheese and fruit plate, or sashimi.

3. Try to order lean main courses; the more veggies the better and the less potatoes/rice the better (the only exception is sushi...but don't you dare go for tempura!).

4. If you want a drink, stick to a couple glasses of wine or beer that you know is around the 100-150kcal mark. Don't do mixed drinks!! If you like hard liquor typically one ounce is 60- 90kcal (not a bad option).

5. Desserts...don't do them! If you need something sweet, have something at home that you can eat and you know exactly what amount of calories are in it!

You workout hard...you don't want to ruin it by eating unhealthy. Make these 5 things habit, and you will see results!!

by Madison Doubroff


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