Blog Post - News, Views and Tips

Working Out, So Do I Have to Worry About Food?

Working Out - Pro:Kinesis Personal Training, High WycombeCan I eat what I like and ignore calories now I have joined the gym?

Absolutely not!!

It is great that you have been making the effort by regularly going to the gym or working out, however this does NOT give you licence to up the calories and indulge even more than before.

Many people are unaware that consuming 3,500 calories a week over and above your body’s requirements will equate to gaining 1lb of fat per week. This also means that the reverse is true and that a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day less than your body requires means you lose 1lb of body fat a week.

Your main calorie consumption should come from healthy foods, but as well as working out you must still eat less calories than your body requires to achieve fat loss. Starving yourself however, or eating too few calories, is bad news because it causes your body to release fat storing enzymes, so when you start eat normally again, all the fat and more returns as the body tries to make more fat cells in case you attempt to starve yourself again. The secret to fat loss is about trying to maintain a balance between not eating too much or too little over a long period of time.

Some really useful tips to finding that mid point include eating from a smaller plate, or grazing 6-7 small snacks  throughout the day instead of 3 big main meals and snacks in between. When you are hungry between meals try to have a drink, i.e. tea, coffee, water, fizzy water or a protein drink (e.g. pea, hemp or whey protein). Avoid going shopping when you are hungry and limit treat days to one day a week. However, if you feel you need something sweet during normal days, then try and ensure it’s around 100 calories and eat it with your main meal to avoid a blood sugar spike.

Also remember that alcohol has lots of calories and tends to make us eat more, so if you can’t do without it then be prepared by choosing dry white wine spritzered with sparkling water; or white rum or vodka spritzered with diet soda. Learn to read food labels and watch the fats and sugars with the aim of both being less than 5g per 100g of food. The more you understand about what you are eating the more likely you are to start changing foods.

Let’s be clear, exercising with cardio and weights is great for your body; improving muscle tone and strength, increasing bone density, conditioning your heart etc, and being generally fitter has benefits way beyond the here and now. However when it comes to fat loss, simply put, and despite the best workout plans, eating 500 calories less a day is easier to achieve than burning an extra 500 calories a day exercising.