The Exercise Myth: You Can’t Eat Whatever You Want

peanut butter toast and grapes

Just because you’ve started a workout routine, doesn’t mean you can suddenly eat whatever you want. In fact, people who are just starting out may only be burning 200 or 300 calories in a 30-minute routine. The latest research shows that diet is most important when it comes to losing weight and unless you are working out for more than 60 minutes at a high intensity, you’re not going to burn a lot of extra calories.

But that’s not a reason to stop! The physical and mental benefits of exercise are immense. Exercise can help your mood and self-esteem, keep your heart pumping strong, and assist your organs with functioning better. People who exercise have been shown to develop less cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses. Research also shows that people who exercise are better able to maintain their weight loss. But you’ve got to watch those post-workout splurges and night-before carbo-loads.

Here’s how easy it is to eat the calories you’ve burned (and more):

  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is 200 calories.
  • Gatorade G03 Recover has 220 calories in 16 ounces.
  • A Starbucks Blueberry muffin has about 380 calories
  • A low fat yogurt and a large banana have about 200 calories.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.