I earned it

We have all done it. Really speaking there is nothing wrong if you know what you are doing. Oftentimes though you don’t. This can pose a problem. Fuelling up after a strenuous or even not that strenuous exercise. We have earned it our brain tells ourselves. All sorts of neurons fire in your brain in a sort of cosmic dance to justify it. Didn’t I just (you can fill in the blanks). Is it really true that food and exercise complement each other. Well it depends. More often than not we tend to exaggerate the amount of physical exertion we have undergone.  

Let’s look at some common activities. Walking for 30 minutes burns about 140 calories. That’s equal to about 1.5 slices of toast. Light weight training is about 110 or just over 1 slice. Even vigorous strength training is about 220 calories or 2 slices. Billiards for 30 minutes. Well you didn’t even earn your toast at 90 calories. Oh you say you play golf. Well it’s 300 calories for an hours worth provided you walked and carried your own clubs. Yes 3 slices. Of course our ravenous mind with no sense of mathematics thinks in bucketfuls. You earned it?

It is also important to remember that your body does not treat all fuel equally. Fats, carbohydrates and protein are dealt with differently. Experts suggest a carbohydrates prior to exercise. This gives your body fast or quick fuel. Protein just after vigorous strength training to help muscle repair. Remember quantities matter. You didn’t really earn the all you can eat Sunday brunch at your workout. Of course all of this assumes that you are mindful the rest of the day. After all cycling or running for thirty minute is not a license to kill. Yourself. 


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.