I know that a popular trade off is: “If I eat this slice of cake I need to do X number of additional (fill in the blank – sit-ups, minutes/hours on the treadmill, etc.) It doesn’t really work that way. The truth is that if you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a hard-earned level of leanness that you currently enjoy, you pretty much have to keep empty calories to a minimum. The more exercise you do, the hungrier you’ll be. So doesn’t it make sense, if you’re going to eat more, that it’s packed with the stuff that will help you get through the workout and optimize your post workout recovery? That includes vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. Not too much of any of those little gems in a slice of cake.
But here are a few actual trade-offs that have a pretty comparable relationship, with notes on the positives and negatives of each:
1. Walk a mile vs. run a mile. They’re going to burn a similar number of calories because you’ll be out longer with the walk, but work harder with the run. But you have to be more fit to run an eight minute mile than you need to be to walk a 15 minute mile.
2. Salad versus stir fry. If they’re both light on the oil, and packed with mostly veggies, pick the one you like best. Add a protein source to each to better balance each nutritionally and make them more satisfying.
3. More strength training sets versus higher intensity. Volume of workload (three or more sets per body part) will get you stronger and bigger (more for men than women on this one), but so will introducing range and timing variations, pristine execution and pushing the muscles to absolute failure with one set. It takes longer to do multiple sets but it’s more uncomfortable and more difficult to use high-intensity techniques, super-strict form and take the muscles to complete exhaustion.
4. Veggie protein versus animal source protein. You can be a successful athlete and/or strength trainer and a vegan at the same time, but it takes knowledge and discipline. There’s simply not as much protein in most plant sources besides soy and that can limit both choices and total protein intake. But eliminating animal products, even if it’s not for religious or social/humanitarian reasons certainly makes it a lot easier to avoid excess saturated fat (a chief component in heart disease risk.)
Whenever you’re considering what you want to do in the fitness and nutrition arenas, get informed so you can make a decision that’s right for you.
You always have options.
Learn more about how to get and stay in great shape? Contact Dan at Tri Valley Trainer