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Glow's avatar

Exercise after eating fattening food... will it make a difference?

Asked by Glow (1352 points ) January 24th, 2011

I spent this morning eating chocolate and pizza out of depression…. I feel rather guilty of it since I have been trying to lose 10 pounds and get fit, and I have been trying to eat healthy and exercising a lot. I feel like I just spoiled all my hard work! I plan to work out today, some jogging and some weight lifting, like I always do. I was wondering if this would make a difference. Would it burn the chocolate and pizza I just had, or is it too late?

Sorry if I seem rather ignorant about this stuff, I’m not too knowledgeable on diet and nutrition. I’m not overweight either. I’m 5’4” and I weigh 130, but I prefer to weigh 120. Have a few excess fat on my thighs and tummy, and I’d like to gain muscle.

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

One moment of food frenzy will not hurt you. Make sure, however, that you don’t make a habit of it.

If you haven’t noticed, the binging didn’t help with your depression, did it?

You want to get into a pattern of sane and healthful eating at all or most meals. Combine that with your exercise routine and you will be fine.

If depression routinely has you reaching for the ice cream, you need other solutions.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Of course it will make a difference! Just get back into your exercise and diet regime and stop worrying about falling off the wagon.Give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up over it

janbb's avatar

It probably won’t burn off all the extra calories but it will reaffirm your commitment to fitness and dieting.

Glow's avatar

Haha, okay guys, you’re making me feel like a whiny baby xD

I did have a good number of calories this morning. About 700 of just chocolate and pizza :/ I’ve had moments like these before, but I think this one is the most extreme I’ve gone, haha. But yeah, you’re right, the binging didn’t help at all. It’s just weird, being in the moment and feeling content while eating, but right back to where I was once the food is gone :/

tedibear's avatar

Just to add, this book has helped me immensely with emotional eating. I need to go back to it, but just working on the first three chapters was very eye-opening.

As @gailcalled said, one binge day will not break you. Forgive yourself and move on. Exercise a little more if you think it will help you feel better. It probably can’t hurt.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

You could always go on the slow-carb diet and get to pig out once a week! Spiking caloric intake every week or two can actually be a good thing because it helps your metabolism from downshifting if you’re on a restricted calorie diet.

You honestly don’t burn that much more calories from exercising vs doing nothing – maybe an extra 200–300. However, exercising can help up metabolism, as well as obviously creating muscle which burns more calories in turn. So wait a couple hours from when you last ate and go for it.

If you ever feel depressed and pig out again, do some resistance exercises 90 minutes afterward, up your water intake, and drink something caffeinated – if it’s coffee, try to put some cinnamon in it as cinnamon depresses insulin production, which will spike after eating refined white carbs (pizza) and chocolate (sugar). It will help soften the blow. Citric acid (grapefruit juice and lemon in paticular) can also help.

Fyrius's avatar

If you’ve eaten unhealthy stuff and want to do damage control, a better idea is to eat stuff that’s high in dietary fibers. It’ll help the food to pass through your digestive system faster, and more of the counter-productive nutrients you ate will go right on out again, into the toilet. That also works for the nutrients you want to retain and put to use, though, like your protein shakes and whatnot.

With that said, yes, of course it still makes a difference. At the very least, if on top of eating the wrong stuff you also don’t work out, the damage will only be worse for it, to your body and even more to your morale.
And for your muscle development it doesn’t matter at all how much chocolate you eat, as long as the muscles have to work hard and get enough protein.

Some notes on mind-set:
It’s okay to indulge in something unhealthy sometimes. It certainly isn’t productive to feel so guilty about it that you consider your whole day wasted and curse yourself for being so stupid and spineless and why couldn’t you just etc. etc. etc. I know this problem. Self-loathing only makes it worse. You need positive reinforcement, too. And a little pride.
If you feel guilty about it, make up for it, and then forgive yourself. If you’ve indulged in tasty food against your resolutions, make up for it by working harder on your work-out, like running an extra lap or something. Try to make sure it won’t happen again, unless you’ve decided well in advance that it’s okay this time. And then forgive yourself.

As for depression, unhealthy eating and working out: in my case, I’ve found that working out can work wonders against depression. It’s a simple task, it’s not confusing, the effort it takes to succeed is purely physical. It gets your blood pumping, it makes you feel more alive than anything. And if you have what it takes to explore, push against and raise the very boundaries of what you can do with an all out effort, even if it hurts, even if you’re tired, then you’re clearly awesome enough to take on pretty much any problem. Because you don’t quit when things get difficult.
I didn’t always have that mind-set. I acquired it. Maybe you could, too.
The next time you feel depressed, you could try going for a run or doing some weightlifting. See how it makes you feel.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

ah yes, like @Fyrius said, fiber can also help curb the damage

snowberry's avatar

According to your height of 5’ 4” your ideal healthy weight is 130 pounds. Your recommended weight range is between 116 and 145 pounds. I got this from this website. http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/ideal-healthy-weight The calculations are the same for men or women.

Either way, 120 lbs is pretty low. If you were my kid, I’d be very concerned that you wanted to be that thin, and I would see to it that you landed in counseling fast.

You need to skip the dieting and get some exercise and have fun. You will feel better for it.

Rarebear's avatar

It’s a question of total calories in vs. total calories out. If your in is more than your out, you gain weight. If your out is more than your in, you lose weight.

Glow's avatar

Thanks all for the very informative answers! I definitely agree, this one time isn’t going to stop me. I’m still trying to be a better runner, and I am still trying to be fit. That was interesting about the spiking caloric intake. And I’ll take a look at that book, I probably need it xDDD I guess I’m being a little hard on myself, but I do tend to have problems with self-loathing, especially when I am depressed, like today :/ So that didn’t help!

oh and @snowberry – I’m not exactly a kid. I know 120 seems low, but I am mostly trying to lose some excess fat on my body and tone up. Nothing wrong with that. I’m not trying to be super model thin or anything. I hate skinny anyway :/ I love big muscles, and I want to lose the fat quickly, so I can start to gain the muscle. I may not reach 120 if I keep weight lifting, but the goal is just to lose excess fat anyway, and the scale may not tell me I did.

gondwanalon's avatar

Don’t beat yourself up too much for eating too much goodies. Try to think positive and do better in the future. It isn’t a good idea to do a hard workout with a full belly no matter if you ate healthy foods or junk foods. If you feel hungry before a workout just eat a little fruit like a banana or nibble on some crackers or Powerbar and drink some water.

Fyrius's avatar

@Glow
“I want to lose the fat quickly, so I can start to gain the muscle.”
Wait, are you waiting with strength training until you’ve lowered your body fat? Why? That doesn’t sound like a good approach.
The usual approach seems to be to first build up muscle – which involves eating like a mothertrucker, to get enough protein in your gut to build up all that muscle tissue with – and then get the excess fat off. Which is a lot easier to do if you already have large powerful muscles that consume a lot of energy.

@Rarebear
Ah, the “human body as a calorie bucket” point of view.
I do hope you realise that’s a gross oversimplification of the way it all actually works. The time of day when the calories go in, the rate of calories in per time unit, the regularity of the calorie intake, the composition of the calories that go in (complex carbs or sugars or something else), the proportion of calories in that are actually digested and put to use, those are all important factors that this approach completely ignores.

Glow's avatar

Oh @Fyrius, I am doing both cardio and weight training, as well as some body weight exercises. I’ve lessened up on the body weights just a bit so I can focus on increasing my pace (trying to hit 1 mile in 10 mins, I’m at 13 now), so I’ve been forcing myself to run a lot faster than what I am used to. I wish I can focus more on weight lifting, but running has become top priority for me.

And @tedibear – Great book so far, started reading the freebie pages on Amazon :3

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