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Will Exercise For Tasties!

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  • MelanieCN77MelanieCN77 Posts: 3,761Member Member Posts: 3,761Member Member
    When your exercise capacity is reduced you may need to change the kind of foods you eat to feel fuller on less.
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 136Member, Premium Member Posts: 136Member, Premium Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    pjwrt wrote: »
    Your post is light hearted, but are you concerned about over exercising? I mean, it obvious ‘works’ if you are maintaining yr weight, but are you happy?

    Wasn't lighthearted, really. It's a problem I bet many have. Check it out. Someone exercises for the sole purpose of being able to overeat. That someone stops exercising for whatever reason, but still has the eating habit. Instant weight gain.

    Over-exercising to enable overeating isn't a good thing at all.

    btw, I've always had a gym, either at home or a membership. At my heaviest, I was still stronger than 99% .

    I don't think this problem is talked about enough and very pervasive given the format of the platform basically "rewarding" exercise with food. I recognized I had an issue with this mindset when I found myself running the 3 miles to Chipotle so I could "earn" the guac I like on my bowl. Consequently, I switched from MFP's NEAT + exercise model to back-calculating average TDEE via a spreadsheet found in the wiki on r/fitness. Ditching the transactional relationship between exercise and calories I had developed has been incredibly freeing. I still do workout because it's something I like, contributes to my goals, and is generically good for me but not something I feel I must do or else I'll just get fat, which is basically the fear I held previously whilst trying to out-work my crappy eating habits. Reigning in my logging really helped me foster the "food for fuel" mindset as well. I'm highly numbers-driven so it's similarly freeing to eat requisite to my calories in terms of what my body needs vs making an assessment (usually poorly) based on hunger, and perceived needs/wants.

    I stopped logging my exercise calorie credit/debit and now I just see my Maintenance goal. Any Exercise credit is now put into a secret Swiss FAT account for that day---sometime this week, probably---when I eat too much.
  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Posts: 1,247Member Member Posts: 1,247Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    pjwrt wrote: »
    Do you enjoy your exercise program? If it’s torture and you are tired of it that would be a reason to make a change. Or if your schedule has changed and you have less time available. That’s what happens to most people, family demands eat up personal time for things like exercise.
    Or If you are eating the large amounts of food to stuff other emotional things or are eating all junk, it may be worth addressing it. Otherwise why mess with what works unless you are miserable or see it not being a forever lifestyle.

    Our winters are wet, cold, and the days are about six hours long. It doesn't take much to be lazy. Every winter I gain weight because of the "rewarding exercise with food" syndrome, when the calorie burning exercises are out of the equation.

    Our winters are wet, cold, and have short days (the whole living in the Northwestern United States thing) and it's also the time I'm the most likely to lose weight. Erging at least three days a week with the loose logging that I do will do that. Wet, cold, and short days doesn't automatically mean "no exercising/training" If it did, Norway wouldn't be as dominant in nordic skiing as they are (though I don't know how wet it is there).

    I'm glad someone else pointed this out. I'm in Northern New England and I don't have a gym membership and I'm still staying active. It really does combat the winter blahs, too.
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 136Member, Premium Member Posts: 136Member, Premium Member
    When your exercise capacity is reduced you may need to change the kind of foods you eat to feel fuller on less.

    Nutritious food instead of empty calories, yes. It's tricky in our junk food society and when one is a good cook.....

    I lost 7 pounds this week by not logging my exercise deficits; back to my goal of 160. I used those deficits as an excuse to eat more.

    Concentrated on my goal of 2100 calories of nutritious food. Note it: I haven't drank soft drinks or booze in 40 years and red meat in years. Nearly vegetarian if I can break my weekly fish and hot link habit.
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Posts: 321Member Member Posts: 321Member Member
    pjwrt wrote: »
    When your exercise capacity is reduced you may need to change the kind of foods you eat to feel fuller on less.

    Nutritious food instead of empty calories, yes. It's tricky in our junk food society and when one is a good cook.....

    I lost 7 pounds this week by not logging my exercise deficits; back to my goal of 160. I used those deficits as an excuse to eat more.

    Concentrated on my goal of 2100 calories of nutritious food. Note it: I haven't drank soft drinks or booze in 40 years and red meat in years. Nearly vegetarian if I can break my weekly fish and hot link habit.

    Seven lbs. in a week is a lot of exercising. But unless all you do is exercise or it's wreaking havoc on your body, I'm not sure I see the downside. I know you brought it up as a concern for an overeating excuse but I still don't thoroughly understand. You're compensating, in a healthy way, for overeating. I'm in no way trying to be snarky or unsympathetic to your plight but would like to better understand the concerns if what you're doing doesn't take over the rest of your life.

    I've often given it some thought about earning extra calories that way just so I can go off the wagon but I'm just too daMn lazy. :(
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,764Member Member Posts: 12,764Member Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    pjwrt wrote: »
    When your exercise capacity is reduced you may need to change the kind of foods you eat to feel fuller on less.

    Nutritious food instead of empty calories, yes. It's tricky in our junk food society and when one is a good cook.....

    I lost 7 pounds this week by not logging my exercise deficits; back to my goal of 160. I used those deficits as an excuse to eat more.

    Concentrated on my goal of 2100 calories of nutritious food. Note it: I haven't drank soft drinks or booze in 40 years and red meat in years. Nearly vegetarian if I can break my weekly fish and hot link habit.

    Seven lbs. in a week is a lot of exercising. But unless all you do is exercise or it's wreaking havoc on your body, I'm not sure I see the downside. I know you brought it up as a concern for an overeating excuse but I still don't thoroughly understand. You're compensating, in a healthy way, for overeating. I'm in no way trying to be snarky or unsympathetic to your plight but would like to better understand the concerns if what you're doing doesn't take over the rest of your life.

    I've often given it some thought about earning extra calories that way just so I can go off the wagon but I'm just too daMn lazy. :(

    Just FTR, seven pounds of fat loss would represent around 24,500 calories of deficit.

    If one exercised in a way that burned 500 calories an hour (a fairly decent intensity for quite a few activities/body sizes, not super-slacker pace for most), that would be 49 hours of exercise, i.e. 7 hours for each of 7 days, if eating at maintenance. Less time if at an eating deficit, or burning more per hour, of course; more time if lower intensity.

    I wouldn't do that, either, but I'm not sure I'd say "lazy" is the reason. Maybe, though.
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 136Member, Premium Member Posts: 136Member, Premium Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    pjwrt wrote: »
    When your exercise capacity is reduced you may need to change the kind of foods you eat to feel fuller on less.

    Nutritious food instead of empty calories, yes. It's tricky in our junk food society and when one is a good cook.....

    I lost 7 pounds this week by not logging my exercise deficits; back to my goal of 160. I used those deficits as an excuse to eat more.

    Concentrated on my goal of 2100 calories of nutritious food. Note it: I haven't drank soft drinks or booze in 40 years and red meat in years. Nearly vegetarian if I can break my weekly fish and hot link habit.

    Seven lbs. in a week is a lot of exercising. But unless all you do is exercise or it's wreaking havoc on your body, I'm not sure I see the downside. I know you brought it up as a concern for an overeating excuse but I still don't thoroughly understand. You're compensating, in a healthy way, for overeating. I'm in no way trying to be snarky or unsympathetic to your plight but would like to better understand the concerns if what you're doing doesn't take over the rest of your life.

    I've often given it some thought about earning extra calories that way just so I can go off the wagon but I'm just too daMn lazy. :(

    The seven pound mark was taken from the Thanksgiving holiday's last day-Sunday night. I weighed in at 165; five pounds over my goal weight. Not good.

    I was physically active the following week, beyond the exercising. Ideally, a 4-5 pound loss is more accurate.

    This whole sitting behind a desk is brand spanking new to human evolution. My grandparents never had an extra ounce of fat; it is that new. Will humans survive its collective "laziness" is the question, not whether my body can withstand physical activity.
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Just FTR, seven pounds of fat loss would represent around 24,500 calories of deficit.

    If one exercised in a way that burned 500 calories an hour (a fairly decent intensity for quite a few activities/body sizes, not super-slacker pace for most), that would be 49 hours of exercise, i.e. 7 hours for each of 7 days, if eating at maintenance. Less time if at an eating deficit, or burning more per hour, of course; more time if lower intensity.

    I wouldn't do that, either, but I'm not sure I'd say "lazy" is the reason. Maybe, though.

    You assume I'm sleeping all day. Another assumption is that my body burns calories at the same pace as your equation. Also, I usually have less than two minutes a day on the computer, so not all my posts are Nobel Prize worthy. Sorry
    edited December 8
  • koalathebearkoalathebear Posts: 201Member Member Posts: 201Member Member
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food. In

    weight loss mode my calorie budget was 1200 and in maintenance it's now 1340. I frequently eat well over 2000 calories in a day - although I've never eaten more than 3000 calories in a day since I've started logging. I do an hour of cardio in the morning, take short half hour walks during my work day before I start work and at lunch (if I have time) and in the evenings I go for a short walk with my dogs - I have three Kelpies. For non Aussies, they're like an Australian Border Collie.

    I stay within my budget though so on days when I don't exercise or don't exercise much, I just eat less. I do have friends who eg run / do exercise and then eat way more than they burned simply because the exercise alone seems to justify the right to eat more - but I don't do that. I track what I have burned and I track what I eat.

    I also genuinely enjoy the exercise - as someone who always hated exercise and didn't do it, I found things I enjoy. For instance, I don't like running but I love walking the dogs as it gives me an opportunity to gently burn calories while listening to audiobooks. I love doing zumba because I am uncoordinated and an absolutely terrible dancer but love the idea of dancing. With zumba it doesn't matter if you are out of time or not even moving the way you're supposed to - as long as you are moving. I also like body combat because it's kind of fun to mix in martial arts moves with a cardio routine.

    Sometimes it helps me moderate the food, too. For instance, I'll think - if I eat this, I'd need to do an hour of zumba to work it off. Is it worth it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. I'd hope that it's like all things - balance, self-control and moderation. It shouldn't automatically be a bad thing to exercise more to be able to eat more...?

    ETA: Also I acknowledge that OP has a self-acknowledged issue/problem and I am not endorsing that and applaud the fact that OP has acknowledged this. I'm just saying that if one has it under 'control', then surely the whole premise of calories in calories out is about making sure you monitor and keep track of them and as long you control the food and exercise rather than the other way around - surely that's ok?
    edited December 9
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Posts: 594Member Member Posts: 594Member Member
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food.

    May just be me but if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight why would one want to reward themselves with food, seems very counterproductive. Sure if you move more due to exercise, eat additional calories to maintain your weight or maintain your desired rate of loss. However, associating food with reward doesn't seem to be a strategy for long term success.
  • koalathebearkoalathebear Posts: 201Member Member Posts: 201Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food.

    May just be me but if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight why would one want to reward themselves with food, seems very counterproductive. Sure if you move more due to exercise, eat additional calories to maintain your weight or maintain your desired rate of loss. However, associating food with reward doesn't seem to be a strategy for long term success.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. As someone who loves food, I don't think it would have been sustainable for me to stick with 1200 calories during my weight loss phase. I needed to boost my calorie budget with exercise. Some people can lose weight on lowering calories alone but others might not be able to do that. I think it's about finding the right mix that is appropriate for each individual. In the case of the OP, the exercise may be excessive because it results in binge eating/OP spends more time exercising and eating than doing other things ... but that doesn't mean that using food as a motivator is a bad thing per se...
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 136Member, Premium Member Posts: 136Member, Premium Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food.

    May just be me but if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight why would one want to reward themselves with food, seems very counterproductive. Sure if you move more due to exercise, eat additional calories to maintain your weight or maintain your desired rate of loss. However, associating food with reward doesn't seem to be a strategy for long term success.

    ... In the case of the OP, the exercise may be excessive because it results in binge eating/OP spends more time exercising and eating than doing other things ... but that doesn't mean that using food as a motivator is a bad thing per se...
    In my case, it was a devastating thing. There aren't any good comparisons because we're talking food energy (calories) and exercise. Maybe a smoker who jogs in order to award his sorry self with a cigarette?

    Everyone is different. Everyone. I'd feel foolish saying what's right for me is right for anyone. But, eat healthy, eat less. gotta go

    (My worst weight in my long life was 210 lbs. I used extreme exercise as an excuse to eat. A lot. I wasn't happy, though. Plateaued at various weights until I found my best weight at 160. Which is what the feds say is the perfect weight for my frame. Go figure.)

  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 20,272Member Member Posts: 20,272Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food.

    May just be me but if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight why would one want to reward themselves with food, seems very counterproductive. Sure if you move more due to exercise, eat additional calories to maintain your weight or maintain your desired rate of loss. However, associating food with reward doesn't seem to be a strategy for long term success.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. As someone who loves food, I don't think it would have been sustainable for me to stick with 1200 calories during my weight loss phase. I needed to boost my calorie budget with exercise. Some people can lose weight on lowering calories alone but others might not be able to do that. I think it's about finding the right mix that is appropriate for each individual. In the case of the OP, the exercise may be excessive because it results in binge eating/OP spends more time exercising and eating than doing other things ... but that doesn't mean that using food as a motivator is a bad thing per se...

    Amen!

    I think the unhealthiness would be tied to the mindset. Your mindset is perfectly reasonable.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,764Member Member Posts: 12,764Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    I definitely let myself eat more if I exercise more .. I didn't realise it was considered unhealthy to "reward" yourself with food.

    May just be me but if someone is trying to lose or maintain weight why would one want to reward themselves with food, seems very counterproductive. Sure if you move more due to exercise, eat additional calories to maintain your weight or maintain your desired rate of loss. However, associating food with reward doesn't seem to be a strategy for long term success.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. As someone who loves food, I don't think it would have been sustainable for me to stick with 1200 calories during my weight loss phase. I needed to boost my calorie budget with exercise. Some people can lose weight on lowering calories alone but others might not be able to do that. I think it's about finding the right mix that is appropriate for each individual. In the case of the OP, the exercise may be excessive because it results in binge eating/OP spends more time exercising and eating than doing other things ... but that doesn't mean that using food as a motivator is a bad thing per se...

    Amen!

    I think the unhealthiness would be tied to the mindset. Your mindset is perfectly reasonable.

    Exactly. If there's a problem, it's not likely to be the exercise per se (large amounts are physically viable if you build up to them, though there are limits - pretty high ones, for healthy people), and it's not likely to be the fueling of that exercise (with a sensible overall calorie deficit, or at maintenance).

    The problem is if, psychologically, there's a desperation to exercise heavily to "make up for" over-eating, when lacking any other personal reasons to want to exercise ("sin and expiation" model); or a habit of exercising so much that overall positive life balance** is seriously compromised, pretty much entirely to lose weight faster or enable eating more while losing (potentially diagnosable as exercise bulimia, which doesn't require purging food to be a diagnosis).

    ** By life balance, of course, I mean adequate time and energy for the other things that are (or in some extreme cases, should be) important to the person, such as a job, social connections (family or otherwise), adequacy with essential daily life chores, perhaps non-exercise hobbies, perhaps spirtual practice, etc.

    Of course it's possible to over-exercise to the point of physical breakdown and health compromise, but a lot of people underestimate how large an amount of exercise that may be, if one builds up to it sensibly (trains for it), because of the remarkably inactive lives many people lead these days (and I'm referring here mostly to occupational activity level differences now vs. history , not simply/exclusively intentional exercise for its own sake: Both create phyical stresses, and require fuel.)
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Posts: 6,023Member Member Posts: 6,023Member Member
    Gee @AnnPT77 I could have sworn someone said, above: It is not the behaviour or the concept of balancing calories in and out that's the problem. It is when the behaviour and the concept take over your life in a way that has negative consequences for you that they become problems.

    Spreadsheet still in development! 🙈
  • koalathebearkoalathebear Posts: 201Member Member Posts: 201Member Member
    pjwrt wrote: »
    In my case, it was a devastating thing. There aren't any good comparisons because we're talking food energy (calories) and exercise. Maybe a smoker who jogs in order to award his sorry self with a cigarette?

    Everyone is different. Everyone. I'd feel foolish saying what's right for me is right for anyone. But, eat healthy, eat less. gotta go

    I'm sorry it was so hard for you. But as you say everyone is different. I don't think the analogy is quite right though - smoking is unequivocally bad for you. Heroin is bad for you. Food is not inherently good or bad.

    And I totally get that for some people the relationship to food is very complex and it is literally an addiction.

    The fact you can't live without it. I think the problem isn't food or exercise, it's the mindset and self-control. You've mentioned a self-admitted problem that you use excessive exercise to justify binging. That's not a good thing and I understand that.

    It's quite different from saying that one can use exercise to boost a calorie budget/achieve a deficit. In relation to "eat healthy eat less" - I don't think that's complete. I'd say it's: "eat healthy, move more". If you're not going to move, then eat less.

    It's not easy. I have a complicated relationship with food like many people here. But I love it and I've learned to find exercise I enjoy so that I can eat more. As I've mentioned, on the days I can't exercise - I eat less and I also weigh up whether eating x food is worth the exercise I'd have to do to offset it ...

    ETA: I hope you can come to a happy balance ... <3
    edited December 11
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