Eating vs Exercise

Eating vs Exercise

When it comes down to eating vs exercise, most of us think of places like a gym or a treadmill when we think of where to go to get in shape. The more subtle truth is that the kitchen trumps most locations when it comes to its impact on our fitness levels. Running for 30 minutes will burn approximately 350-500 calories or slightly more than 1/10th of a pound of body fat. Eating a candy bar takes less than a minute and will negate most, if not all of the positive affects of that 30 minute run.

In times of stress, I like many others, tend to eat more. Over the last few months, I’ve regrettably watched much of my hard-earned rewards of exercise get wiped away by snacks and overeating. It can be so frustrating. This time of year can be especially tough with the holidays approaching and that darn leftover Halloween candy!?

Fitness is an ongoing journey that will take us through many highs and lows in our lifetime. As long as we stay committed for the long-haul, we can weather small setbacks and derailments. And while short-term goals are great ways to motivate us towards a weight loss number or event, make sure that you also set some long-term goals to help you stay on that path of good habits that you started.

Here are some ways to make the kitchen an ally in your fitness quest:

  • Freeze left-over goodies: Left over Halloween candy and Christmas cookies can be frozen and gradually enjoyed over time rather than all at once. Besides, if I take them out of the cabinet (snack territory) and put them into the freezer (dessert territory), I’m more likely to eat them on special occasions only.
  • Bring in leftovers to the office: One way to clear the kitchen of all those calories (read “pounds”), is to bring them into the office, school, church, or other area where they’ll quickly disappear. You’ll be looking for those treats late at night…sometimes it’s best to get rid of them!
  • Don’t Buy it!: My snacking habits are best when the cookie cabinet is empty and I have to resort to dry cereal or fruit ;-). If you can, try not to buy all of that stuff that you will eventually force yourself to avoid. If you have children, try splitting the cookie package into zip-lock bags for the kid’s snacks and lunches. You might be less likely to raid their lunch bags than you would an open package of cookies.
  • Write everything down: When it doubt, go back to step 2 of your fitness plan and re-start a food log. Is it tedious? Yes. Does it work? Yes. Think about it. As you grab that stack of chocolate chip cookies and flip over the package only to realize that 2 cookies are 230 calories, you’ll probably do 1 of 2 things: One, put back all but 2 cookies (counting the one in your mouth); or Two, put back all of the cookies and mutter nasty words under your breath! Food logs work. If you really want to get back on track and get where you want to be, write down what you eat.

With the holidays quickly approaching, you need not swear off all tasty foods and treats that you enjoy so much. Just plan ahead and limit the splurges. For example, skip a few dinner rolls so that you can have a piece of pumpkin pie; or have a piece of fruit for lunch, so that you can enjoy a few drinks during the holiday bowl games. There are countless creative ways to “bank” calories for the good times, try the ways that work best for you. When it comes to eating vs exercise, it's best to pay attention to both!

You can find Eating vs Exercise and other motivational fitness information in the November 2007 article of The Bullhorn. You can sign up for this free monthly e-zine below.

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