One of the dumbest funniest  things I’ve heard over the years as a personal trainer is “I work out so I can eat whatever I want.” Oh that is so adorable and so ridiculous.  Unless you’re running an ultra everyday you most certainly cannot eat “whatever you want” and maintain or lose weight.  If you’re goal is to steadily increase your weight while gaining minimal health benefits then you’re on the right track but, most likely you have some slightly loftier goals.

Here’s the ugly truth: 3500 calories = 1 pound.  Let that sink in.  Do you know how long and hard you would have to exercise to burn 3500 calories?  I’ll give you a hint – I came close once running a marathon at an 8:30 per mile average pace.  That’s 26.2 miles of blood sweat and tears = about 2500 calories.  Now of course you don’t need to burn every single calorie you consume (thank God!) but if your goal is weight loss then you need to create a caloric deficit.  Basically burn more then you eat!  Very simple but, not easy.


Dammit!  I had a milkshake last weekend and I only jumped rope for 68 minutes.  And, for God sake just stop drinking soda!  It’s unbelievably bad for you and is right up there with smoking and tanning.  Is this 1993?  No more soda!…with the exception of cocktails because we have to draw a line somewhere.

I digress…

Here’s how to calculate your BMR which is how much your body burns at rest.

Here’s the calorie burn calculator but it only works if you’re honest!

Now that you’ve done that, you can go see how many calories you’re shoving in your face everyday. Don’t forget your liquids my friends – it all adds up – wine, beer, Gatorade (that you don’t need unless you’re working out for over an hour in the sun at noon!) or whatever other liquid calories you’re consuming.

Finally, add up all the calories for one day and subtract your BMR and calorie burn (just for one day!) and you will see that you may not be creating that deficit.

Don’t make the mistake of overestimating your calorie burn either.  I once heard someone say that a spin instructor (shame on you!) told her class participants they could burn 1,000 calories in a one-hour class.  Seriously?  That is not happening for every participant!  Unless you’re a 200 pound, 6 foot MAN you will not burn that many calories.  The “average female” who is 5’ 4” and weighs 163 can burn about 840 and that’s going balls out!


Today we're going to burn 1,000 brain cells!

Today we’re going to burn 1,000 brain cells!

Check your favorite sport or activity here to see if you can burn 1,000 calories an hour doing it…#2 is Skiing and #10 is Vinyasa Yoga.

Look, losing weight is hard.  Training is hard.   If it were easy we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country.  Just get over it and hit the gym or the road or trails with intensity!  Be conscientious of everything you put (or don’t put!) into your mouth.  And, try to have some fun with it because at the end of the day, that’s what it should be about.  AmIright?


What’s one food you thought was “good for you” and turned out not to be?  What was your biggest calorie misconception?