As I look at Instagram, I’ve noticed something trending amongst many fitness enthusiasts. Last year, gourmet hipster burgers and candied bacon seem to be the toast of the town, but something more enticing, fatty, and calorically dense has arrived. The “post, peri, pre workout” donut has arrived. I don’t know when it started but the donut has parked its beautiful one-eyed head in the fitness world for the time being. It’s almost become a cool thing to brag about how poorly you eat while lifting copious amounts of weight while maintaining an ideal body composition. Keep in mind the donut is being used as an example. Pizza and cookie ice cream sandwiches could be your weapons of choice when it comes to post workout “feeding” as well. I think we’ve come along way from “whole wheat” and salad being staples of healthy nutrition. Counting macros, carb-backloading, and ketogenic diets have shown us ways of manipulating our diet and calories so that we can eat like Vikings while not being featured on the next episode of My 600lb life. Here’s my problem. I love all things pizza, donut, cookie ice cream and the list goes on. The reason why I can’t fall in love with the ideology of smashing crazy amounts of calories and spiking my insulin level with donuts and cookies is because it leads me into territory that I’m afraid I wont be able to get out of later on in life. I’d love abs and I’d love to attain them while eating donuts, but I also value the longevity of life. I know personally, if you tell me that pizza and ice cream were ok to eat on a daily basis, I’d find ways of deviating from moderation and it would affect my nutritional consistency. I can almost guarantee that most people who have adopted IIFYM (macro counting) have one time or another questioned whether or not they should at least dial back on some of the donuts. Not only because of body composition but because they’re probably starting to feel like shit. Measuring calories can be important, but the source of your calories matters just as much. 2000 calories of pizza vs. 2000 calories of salmon and rice are definitely difference makers.
Again, I’m speaking from personal preference and experience. I saw powerlifters crushing anything for there post workout and I think myself along with many others jumped on the bandwagon. Here’s the thing, my squat isn’t 500lbs yet and I’m not deadlifting 800lbs either so it doesn’t make sense for me to knock back 800 calories post workout just because I worked out. At this point, I’m trying my best to match my nutrition with the amount of volume in the gym, so please don’t tease me with your bacon peanut butter donut. This post isn’t meant to be a rant. In moderation I’ll have something extremely good after my workouts, but this post is more for the people in the fitness industry that forgot about the fact that this industry should be based on health and longevity. Going down the post workout donut road makes it hard to rebuild good habits as our goals change in the gym.
The solution is simple. If you're struggling with your weight or energy in the gym and you've adopted the macro lifestyle, then dial it back and rethink post workout food sources. When you've reached a good baseline, then it shouldn't be an issue playing around with tasty things. Just keep in mind that what you put in your body should help you in your goals in the short and long term.