This was brought up in a client check-in today and I thought it would be a very applicable topic so I said I’d do a quick post about it.
Doing extra cardio to overcompensate for overeating. Does it work? Is it advisable?.
Does it work? Well, of course, it does. If we overeat 300 calories on one day and the next day or that night do an extra 300 calories cardio, we are still abiding by the law of thermodynamics and creating a negative energy balance (eating less than we are burning to create an environment for Fat Loss).
Current deficit Kcals = 2,500,
overrate, now 2,800.
Cardio the shit out of it,
back to 2,500.
Is it advisable?, personally, I never recommend or advise behaviors for 2 main reasons.
1. It can create a downstream of negative psychological effects. It almost “justifies” the overeating your calories and people may think that they can do more cardio more frequently to overcome overeating. This can possibly lead to further purging, guilt, etc. and further similar thought process down the line of "I want a pizza" Ill just do more cardio for the week to burn it off and match it up. Again, in one sense this could work (although through aerobic work to equal the number of calories in a pizza you better get comfy on that cross-trainer), but its not a habit we want to get into.
2. It elicits unnecessary physiological and biological stress placed in the body. It may only be short term starting off but again, if it occurs more frequently it can have indirect physical effects, more time spent in a sympathetic nervous state, possibility of reduced recovery, reduced overall performance in training, Increased appetite, Fatigue, increased systemic inflammation and so on...
The only time I would think it’s suitable to do more cardio to overcompensate would be a very experienced individual who has close to a perfect relationship with food (labeling, perspective on food choices, guilt, etc) on a rare occasion for a specific goal (photoshoot, making weight show ) and at that, I'd be hesitant to implement such an intervention for the above reasons.
You didn’t gain fat by overeating a few hundred calories in one day, just Like you didn’t lose fat from underrating a few hundred in one day. If you overrate, the fixing is done in the next meal, not the next day.
Plan ahead better, be more sensible with food choices, and forget the guilt.