Today I took a walk for 5.26 miles or 10,934 steps.
Depending on your fitness orientation, whether you happen to be a couch potato or a marathon runner, that may or may not sound particularly impressive.
The reason I have such statistics available to me is that my dear brother, Dr. Richard Schulze Jr., recently gave me an out-of-the-blue present of an Apple Watch.
I fell in love with it immediately and I have to report, as a long-term user of pedometers, countless heart rate monitors with chest straps that eventually became disgustingly sweaty and other cumbersome contraptions, it’s hands down the best fitness gadget I have ever owned.
So here’s the real news.
During my 5.26 mile walk, I managed to burn just 224 calories.
Now if you have been a regular reader of my blog, you can imagine that I am the sort of walker who likes to stop and photograph the flowers, chat with the local dogs and cats, listen to my music on my iPhone and dawdle along at a comfortable pace.
Admittedly I don’t set land speed records, but here’s the thing – I exercise for at least one hour virtually every day of my life.
I may miss a day every now and again, but generally you’ll eventually find me on my yoga mat, at some gym hitting the weights or out for a walk examining the flora and fauna.
If you were bigger than me (I’m 5 foot 4 inches and I’ll just say a healthy weight that allows me to wear all the cute clothes I’m particularly fond of), you could probably burn more calories. Or if you jogged, sprinted or ran you could rack up a higher number.
But the truth is maybe not by that much.
As we approach the annual American tradition of overeating on Thanksgiving, other dedicated exercisers like me will be lacing up their sneakers, lifting their weights, rolling out their yoga mats, strapping themselves into their bicycles and more, but no matter how much exercise we all do none of it will be able to counteract unreasonable gorging.
Here’s a few calorie facts:
- Average American Thanksgiving dinner, between 3,000 and 4,500 calories, depending on which expert you consult
- 5 ounces wine, 123 calories
- 1 cup stuffing, 350 calories
- 4 slices turkey, 320 calories
- 1/2 cup gravy, 100 calories
- 1 cup mashed potatoes, 237 calories
- 1/2 cup creamed spinach, 150 calories
- 1 cup green bean casserole, 350 calories
- 1/4 cup cranberry sauce, 110 calories
- 2 biscuits, 340 calories
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, 285 calories
- 1 slice pumpkin pie, 320 calories
So here’s why you can’t out exercise a bad diet:
- Even if you exercise for a long time (to me, a long time would be over one hour) or at a very high intensity (in which case you more than likely could not continue for a long period unless you were training to become a professional athlete), more than likely you will not burn enough calories in your fitness training to compensate for over eating.
- Unless you live on primarily water and vegetables, the actual calorie count of even a reasonably healthy diet does not allow much room for error when it comes to what you will expend. Those of us who make a living coaching clients to lose weight can attest that the difference between you gaining and losing could be as little as an extra helping of food or pushing away from the table when you are finally full.
So what’s the moral of the story?
Join me on a walk, on the yoga mat and at the gym, but please don’t use your work out as an excuse to stuff yourself.
Those of us who maintain a healthy weight usually combine sensible regular exercise with the life habit of knowing when to put down our fork.
Work out every day of your life and you’ll be happy and fit.
Put your fork down before you are actually full and then you will also enjoy living at a comfortable body weight.
It takes both habits to make a naturally slim person.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become a naturally slim person, please contact Catherine Carrigan for a FREE 15 minute consultation by calling 678-612-8816 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.