A couple of weekend's ago, we stopped into a Panera Bread store for Jackson's morning snack. As I was standing in line to get our iced teas and his apple juice, I looked around at the other patrons, fogging into the store. Many of them were women, young and old, with a friend or two in tow. Based on the myriad of ponytails, running shorts, hoodies, yoga pants, and sneaks, I assumed they were making a pitstop to refuel, after hitting the gym. As they began to place their orders, I began to pick-up on a disturbing pattern. Bagels with cream cheese, blueberry muffins with a latte, an egg breakfast sandwich with bacon were all hungrily requested with ease. I wondered if any of them knew that they had just made their work-out null and void?...that the work-out they had just endured wouldn't count for much against the onslaught of carbs, fat, sugar, and CALORIES, CALORIES, CALORIES!
I sadly came to the conclusion that these were the people that regularly hit the gym, follow it up with a nosh fest, call it a reward for a hard workout, then hit the scale and wonder why it doesn't budge like it does for all those other "lucky" people. Maybe, after repeating this pattern enough times, they just give up on exercise all together, since it "doesn't work" for them. I know, because I used to be this person. I'd hit a harcore kickboxing class at the gym, then promptly head to Qdoba for a chicken burrito with all the fixings, including cheese and sour cream; then, I'd add a side of chips and guacamole, because I'd earned it for working so hard! Then, I'd head home, park myself on the couch and proceed to eat it all, because I'd burned so many calories at the gym and had given my metabolism such a boost! Sound familiar?
The truth is, if you workout hard for an hour, you burn off approximately 500-600 calories...try more like 350 if you're the type that staggers along on the treadmill reading the latest New York Times Bestseller novel. If this is followed up with a meal that averages 400+ calories (as does each of the ones mentioned above), you can see that it doesn't take too long to blow-up your caloric budget. Do yourself a favor...if you're going to go through with getting your sweat on, let your effort actually count for something other than an overindulgent feast on junk...you'll have a much more rewarding outcome, if you do!