Almost four in ten women admit they adopt a credit-debit approach to their gym regime – working out so they can have free reign on what they eat, a study has found.
Instead of exercising purely to get fit, millions of chocolate and wine-loving women hit the gym to ‘earn’ the right to indulge in their favourite calorific foods.
And 38 per cent went as far as to say being able to eat what they want is the main reason they exercise.
Four in 10 even said they wouldn’t agree to a night out with friends without first going to the gym to compensate for it.
But women aren’t alone – just over a third of men also admit to going to the gym just so they can enjoy a more calorific diet.
The stats emerged in a study by snack brand Yushoi to launch the trial of its Pea-lates and Pinot class – which incorporates wine and snacks into the workout in the spirit of striking a balance.
Spokesman Mike Walker said: “For some people, going to the gym or out for a run is something they love to do.
“We believe exercise can provide a place of sanctuary and release for people, but for others it’s something they just put up with in order to enjoy other areas of their lives – particularly their social lives and diet.
“Realistically, we feel it’s all about balance, both when it comes to food and to exercise.
“People put too much pressure on themselves, but life is about enjoyment and balancing what you enjoy and what’s good for you.”
The study of 2,000 Brits found 86 per cent enjoy eating calorific foods with more than eight in 10 seeing diet and exercise as a ‘balancing act’.
Chocolate is the top treat gym-goers work out to reward themselves with, followed by cake, pizza and Chinese takeaways.
Wine, curry and crisps are also among the top 10 foods ‘earned’ by exercise.
It also emerged the average gym-goer will workout for 19 minutes to burn off or earn a chocolate bar, and 15 minutes for each cocktail they consume.
A takeaway curry requires 21 minutes of exercise with a glass of wine adding 17 minutes to the workout.
Almost half of Brits even admit to fantasising about food and drink while they’re still in the gym, daydreaming about pizza or chips as they sweat it out.
People are also more likely to exercise first to ‘earn’ food and drink later rather than consuming treats and then hitting the gym to make up for it.
One in three also admitted they are more likely to watch what they eat and drink if they don’t feel they’ve done enough to merit the treats.
And three in 10 have turned down an invite to a night out because they knew they wouldn’t have time to get the exercise in before consuming the calories.
The research, carried out by Yushoi via Onepoll.com also found 15 per cent will dance more than usual on a night out to try and make up for the calories consumed, while 31 per cent will walk instead of getting a taxi.
Mike Walker added: “We are launching our class as we want to encourage people to not take life too seriously and balance out something which is good for their health with a little bit of what they fancy.”
The first Pea-lates and Pinot class will be trialled on Thursday 3rd May at the Northern Monk in Leeds between 12.30 and 1.15pm.
Sign up for your free session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pea-lates-and-pinot-tickets-45095906069
Top 10 foods Brits work out to ‘earn’ and the amount of time spent exercising for each one
1. Chocolate – 19 minutes
2. Cake – 19 minutes
3. Pizza – 21 minutes
4. Chinese takeaway – 22 minutes
5. Crisps – 17 minutes
6. Wine – 17 minutes
7. Curry – 21 minutes
8. Beer – 17 minutes
9. Biscuits – 16 minutes
10. Fish and chips – 22 minutes