Myth vs. Fact: Eat Less and Exercise More

Myth vs. Fact - Eat Less and Exercise More

Does eating fewer calories than how much you burn automatically equate to weight loss? This is the final installment of our mini-series on common nutrition myths where we’ll tackle the subject of how much food is necessary to fuel your exercise and activities of daily living.

Calories In vs. Calories Out

When people are looking to lose weight, they think they simply need to eat less and workout more. Calories in should be less than calories out, right? Wrong! The idea of eating less and working out more to lose weight is most definitely false.

If you are looking for true results, the key is not to eat less and workout more. Food is fuel for your exercise. Limiting our daily food intake to well below what we actually need to not only sustain our daily activities, but our workouts on top of that, our bodies will hold on to any calories we give it. 

When we significantly underfeed ourselves, our bodies go into “starvation mode.” This means that any food we consume our bodies will hold onto because it’s unsure when we’ll receive the next meal or if we have enough calories and nutrients to sustain daily activities. Once we begin properly fueling our bodies for our lives and workouts, our bodies will begin to recognize how to use that fuel, and will begin to build muscle and lose fat.

Eating Anything After a Workout

Another common myth is that if you workout, you can eat whatever you want. This is false. 

Workouts typically burn a lot fewer calories than we imagine or that our FitBits or MyFitnessPal may suggest. Going out for a burger and fries, pizza, or even a beer or two can quickly negate the last workout (or two!) that you completed. 

If you generally lean toward food as a reward for working out, try changing this habit or changing the frequency with which you reward yourself. 

If you need help losing weight, come see me for a FREE nutrition consultation! We’ll go over your current habits and see where dietary improvements can be made!

Schedule a Nutrition Consultation

Sarah Brunner Registered Dietician at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian

Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.