Today’s METCON was 20,18,16,14,12,10 reps of Toes to bar, pistols and calorie rowing. It took most people 20–25 minutes. Crossfit is relatively difficult to compute calories for. It tends to traumatize watches and pull chest straps off, making true heart rate calculation either impossible or very expensive if you’re willing to risk killing your fancy HR-monitor watch, which I’m not.

I get in Myfitnesspal and have a variety of approximations for my workouts, I’m unsure how accurate these are, but based on relatively stringent intake/output/weight monitoring, I think it must be pretty close. Today I did a 5 minute warmup on the Airdyne, with a 10 minute, low-intensity bridge between strength and METCON and a 5 minute cooldown following the METCON. I also did between 45–60 minutes of strength work.

I enter the Airdyne work as “easy indoor cycling”, the strength work as “calisthenics, home, light/moderate effort” and the METCON as “high impact aerobics”. All told, I credited myself with 532 calories burned through exercise. I did quite a bit more than was written on the whiteboard for today’s prescribed workout.

The 532 calories were replaced, almost entirely, by a large, quad-shot, 406 Latte from City Brew. This particular drink, which doesn’t actually exist in Myfitnesspal and which City Brew guards as a proprietary recipe, I estimate as equivalent to a venti vanilla latte from Starbucks. It’s probably within a 100 calories or less of that. The coffee was over 300 calories though, to be sure. I knew what I was doing.

Nom, Nom, Nom.

But I also have the rest of my day planned out. I’ll be pretty close to my calorie limit by the time my head hits a pillow. The 406 certainly had more simple carbs than is generally prudent, but I don’t think I’ll get too many more of those today.

What did you eat and drink after your workout? How many calories did you burn with your efforts at the gym? Was it enough to earn whatever you splurged on afterward? Do you even have an estimate of what your gym time was “worth”? Do you have an estimate of what your breakfast and snacks were worth? How do the two compare?

Generally, and one of the biggest problems with how most people equate diet and exercise, you replaced far more than you burned. You overestimated your calories burned and you underestimated your snack. All you tell yourself is that you worked out and that must mean that you earned some kind of reward. And your ass grows.

I’ll keep harping on diet versus exercise.

You can’t out-exercise your bad diet. You can’t quantify either of those things. You have no idea what you are burning through exercise nor what you are consuming. You make deals with yourself and you always lose. The only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit through a combination of diet and exercise. Figuring out these values has never been easier.

There’s an app for that. There’s a watch for that. You can figure it out.