When I first decided to start exercising, one of the reasons I wanted to get fit was…I wanted to be able to eat anything (and everything) I wanted. I mean, once you are exercising regularly, you can eat cake every day right? (And monster cookies...and LemonHeads...and Raspberry Fritters and...well, you see where I'm headed here). Needless to say, that has not worked out so well for me. Apparently, that's not really how this whole "get fit" thing works. Sadly, it has become quite clear to me that the saying..."YOU CAN'T OUT EXERCISE A BAD DIET" really is a true statement. This is disheartening to me because it is easier to find the determination to make myself exercise 45 minutes a day than to force myself to eat well 24 hours a day (okay, more like 16-17 hours if I'm getting a decent amount of sleep).
So, let's think about this logically...I could easily figure out how to consume 800-1500 calories in 15 minutes or less by getting a large popcorn with butter and a gigantic Coke at the movies...or by picking up fast food at Wendy's at the end of a long and frustrating day instead of taking the time to prepare a home-cooked meal...or by relaxing with a good book and a couple of KitKat's, Butterfingers and the above mentioned (and all-time favorite of mine) LemonHeads!! There is, however, NO WAY I could burn the same amount of calories in 15 minutes or less. That would take me 1 or 2 hours.
The other thing I have realized on my journey is...as my body gets healthier and fitter and stronger, the more important it is to give it the right kind of fuel. The salt, grease, sugar, preservatives and fat found in the foods I crave give me headaches, muddle my thoughts and cause me to feel sluggish and tired. If I used my daily allotment of calories on things like donuts, fast food and processed snacks, eventually my body would "run" just like our four wheeler did when the gas tank got left open during a rain storm. (There was a lot of sputtering and black smoke).
So, unless you are Michael Phelps or some crazy awesome ultra marathoner, don't fool yourself into thinking that the quality of your food AND the quantity of your food don't matter. Exercise is a vital for maintaining, strengthening and toning (and I am NOT advising you to stop), but to REALLY see weight loss results, you have to be diligent about how you are fueling your body!
Here are a few good articles about nutrition if you are looking for more information...
I hope this helpful reminder makes you (and I) think twice about how we use our calories!!!