I have a secret. As a nutritionist and a personal trainer the one phrase that drives me nuts is “My Fitbit says…”
Yes, that little colorful outfit matching device on your wrist, belt loop, or shoelaces, drives me nuts. Absolutely crazy and today we will research the cons to the step tracking device some people can’t function without.
As promised today we are in part two of How To Eat Healthy On Vacations. The lies we tell ourselves that we are tackling today is “I am doing lots of sightseeing and walking around!” implying it’s okay to overeat or indulge because you are burning calories.
I have another secret for you, you are also burning calories right now while you read this blog. We burn calories all day long even when we sit and do zero exercise. This is why people who don’t exercise but change their diet can lose weight. It’s all about the simple calories in, calories out. There really isn’t anything beyond that. No miracle cure or quick fix. Honestly, I can lose weight on eating snickers and soda all day long if I am still burning more calories than what is going in. Would I recommend snickers and soda? No! I always recommend healthy nutritious food that your body needs and eating for health, but my point is it’s all about the calories in and calories out.
You see, when we sight see all day long, what’s the likely hood of your heart rate actually increasing? Like really breathing heavy gasp for breath increase? Or are you walking, stopping, looking, chatting, sitting, and more like strolling? Let’s be honest here, shall we? I’m a pretty fast walker naturally and I know my sightseeing cannot be counted as exercise.
Which ties me into my point right here. The actual definition of “exercise in order to lose weight or change your current health” is a minimum of 30 minutes of uninterrupted aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate into an increase to burn fat. Anything you do before and up to that 30 minutes doesn’t burn any fat but it does burn the glycogen out of your muscles.
SOOOOOOO, when you sightsee, and you walk and stop, walk and stop, your step counting device may have told you that you walked well over that coveted 10,000 steps but did you burn any fat in those 10,000 steps? Probably not. However, you think you did, and now you eat whatever you want on your vacation and wonder why you came back gaining weight when you in fact you “walked double the steps you do at home”.
I have so many clients discouraged because they hit their goal of steps everyday however they don’t lose weight or they feel discouraged in a fitness class because they feel they can’t keep up. When you are trying for a certain number of steps over the course of the day, unless you specifically go on a 30-minute walk you will never lose weight by just getting steps in over the course of a day. Let’s put it into this perspective…if I did one bicep curl every two hours would my biceps change shape? And furthermore, if I did one bicep curl every two hours would it warrant me to eat extra food because I burned more calories?
The great thing about Fitbit? It keeps people moving who sit all day. I could write another different blog on the dangerous effects a desk job can have on your body internally and externally and the good thing about Fitbit is those who do get up and leave their computer for a quick move around is awesome!!! It actually does significantly lower those effects to get up and move even for short times. However, those counting on getting 10,000 steps over the course of a day without any significant aerobic exercise for longer than 30 minutes shouldn’t count on losing any significant weight or getting healthier if you aren’t changing what you eat.
Moral of the story? Please don’t over eat or indulge on vacation because you walked over the course of the day. Hit up the hotel gym, or set your watch to speed walk for 30 minutes and then see the wonderful health that will come to you.
Sightseeing Maui and having a blast!!!