Can I Eat Cinnamon Rolls and Still Lose Weight?

“Can’t I eat my cinnamon rolls, workout a bit extra, and still lose weight?” My mom once asked me.

Potentially. But it most likely won’t leave you looking or feeling good.

There are people who play professional sports and burn up to 8,000 calories a day. They can eat as many cinnamon rolls as they want and still be lean and trim. However, they probably won’t make that choice, but we’ll get there. . .

Most of us do not spend the majority of our time running around a basketball court or training in the gym. If we are lucky, we get three good workouts in a week. That’s maybe three hours (depending on the length of your workout) versus another 165 hours spent sitting at a desk, driving, watching TV, checking our phones, eating, and sleeping.

Notice that most of those activities take place in a seated or supine position.


Getting to the gym three times a week is great! If that is all you want or can do, good for you and keep at it! Many people thrive with this amount of time devoted to the gym.

But we must realize how these three hours relate to the rest of our lives, and make adjustments if necessary.  If we have no regard to our nutrition or fitness for the other 165 hours, the scale can tip away from our health goals (depending on what those are).

Now let’s go back to the professional athletes that burn 8,000 calories a day. Can they eat a ton of cinnamon rolls and stay lean? Probably.

But do they? Most likely not.

I recently heard John Salley interviewed on the Rich Roll Podcast. Salley won four NBA championships with three different teams in three different decades. So he’s no joke.

He told a story on the podcast that I found very interesting. Towards the beginning of his career, he went out to eat before a game with another teammate. His teammate ate a healthy meal of vegetables, proteins, and complex grains. Salley got a burger and fries.

Fast forward a couple hours and Salley is struggling on the court. The coach takes him out and he sits on the bench next to the same teammate that he ate with earlier.

The teammate asks Salley how his burger and fries are feeling now, explaining that his body is working overtime trying to digest all the crap he just put it in. It’s leaving no energy for the basketball game!

Salley is now an avid vegan and fuels himself with the best nutrition possible. One of my favorite quotes from the podcast is the following:

“If you’re a professional athlete, and after the game you’re eating at the same place that somebody in the audience is eating at? You’re making a mistake.”

-John Salley

So professional athletes can certainly eat cinnamon rolls or fried junk before a big game, but I would venture to say that the star players are not doing so.

My points are the following:

  1. We must be realistic about our work to nutrition ratio and how it relates to our goals. An hour in the gym does not equate to thousands of extra calories to be consumed if our goal is to lose weight.
  2. If we want our bodies to look and function the best, we must fuel it with the best food.

Everything is optional, and you can and should enjoy cinnamon rolls (or another tasty-treat) once in a while. But we must be aware of our actions and create a balance with our fitness and nutrition.

Have more questions on eating cinnamon rolls? Reach out!



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