Don’t Try And Out-train Your Nutrition
Why if out-training your nutrition is your goal…it's probably not going to happen.
I talked about this subject recently in a why Wednesday but if you did not see it, here is the crux of it. It all comes down to how much your body can actually take when it comes to exercise. You may have read or heard about the story that came out a few years ago now about Michael Phelps. That he had to eat some ridiculous amount of calories per day, if I remember correctly it was something like 10,000 calories a day. It was crazy, things like 5 mcmuffins and pancakes for breakfast with a whole host of other stuff (most of us couldn’t even eat that many calories in a day unless we ate literally nothing but ice cream all day long, they maybe. Just for reference, that's about 8-10 pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in one day, I don’t care how big a sweet tooth you have, that would be hard to do).
We hear stories like that and we know that exercising requires energy (calories). So obviously we get to the point where you think “well I can eat more because I exercise” which in some aspects is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, HOWEVER!!! That quickly devolves into “I went to the gym today so a whole pizza and beer for dinner it is!”. Here is the problem with that, a large pizza probably contains 2000-3000 calories on its own, that would take 2-3 training sessions to burn off (for your average person).
Someone like Michael Phelps has a training session something like:
1.) Wake up: long run
2.) Strength and conditioning work
3.) Hours of pool work, finishing up with some sort of cool down work that would probably be a full workout for most of us.
He’s been training that way for 5-10+ years, he can eat that many calories (needs that many calories) because his body is so far adapted to exercise, it can actually burn 8000 calories in one day (you probably would burn about 3000-4000 running a marathon).
This is why it's so important to work both sides of the equation, exercise and nutrition, because if your goal is to out work your nutrition you are probably not going to be able to keep up that level of activity. Or after a couple weeks you’re going to start finding yourself with nagging injuries that won't go away, or major ones, which is going to force you to step back, which will just compound the problem you are having. Unless you are a super high-level athlete there is no “eat whatever you want and still burn it off”. Sorry to say, this is something that I have had to come to grips with myself.
One other very important thing, for reasons that I’m not going to get into in this blog (the explanation could go on for pages) hyper limiting calories does not work either. I don’t want anyone going away from this blog thinking “ok so I'm going to have a can of Tuna and an apple a day and I'll lose 10lbs by the end of next week!” It just doesn’t work that way so please don’t attempt it. This is just to put some numbers in perspective!