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Have you ever heard or said this before, “I just burned 400 calories on the treadmill. Now I get to eat an extra 400 calories.” Here are three reasons that will hopefully push you away from that sort of mentality.
Number one, you’re not a dog so you shouldn’t reward yourself with food. The activity and reward mindset cheapens both the value of exercise and quality of nutrition.
Number two, pieces of cardio equipment are generally awful at estimating the number of calories you burn. They don’t typically account for fitness level, age or body composition. So if you’re ever getting a calorie estimation off of a piece of cardio equipment, you should expect that number to be off by at least 20%. And that’s being pretty generous.
And finally, number three:
People are pretty bad at estimating the number of calories they consume in a given meal or a given day. According to this study, women and men underestimate the number of calories they’re consuming by 400 and 600 calories respectively.
So overall, it’s just not a great game to play. You’re better off focusing on consistency of daily activity and nutrition.