My facebook feed lately has shown quite a few posts about how much exercise it takes to “burn off” certain foods, so I just wanted to put a reminder out there that it’s far more useful to think of food as fuelling not only the activities you want to do, but your body’s natural processes as well, rather than something that you need to get rid of ASAP because omgcalories! Calories are just a unit of energy and your body needs energy, even on days that you don’t do formal exercise. I’m sure most of us already know which foods are particularly energy dense and when we’re taking in more energy than we perhaps need, and which foods are more healthful for us, but it is 100% okay to occasionally eat some less healthful food, or a little extra food, just because it tastes nice, without ruining your pleasure by feeling like you have to make penance for it. It’s just food. You didn’t kick a puppy.
Likewise, there are far more positive reasons to exercise than just to “burn off” food – it’s way more rewarding to exercise for enjoyment or strength or mobility or stamina – and you’re far more likely to stick at it long enough to get all the health benefits that go with it as well.