Joining a gym. Going for a run every day. Boot camp classes.
Physical activity is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle, has fantastic effects on reducing disease risk, managing lifestyle diseases, and helping improve overall mood, energy levels, and wellbeing.
But if you are sweating it out in the hopes of losing weight, you might be barking up the wrong tree.
Check out the reasons why exercising for weight loss might not be the best strategy…
Calories burned during common exercises:
1 hour slow walking= 180 cal = 1 fruit muffin
1 hour power walking= 270 cal = ham sandwich
1 hour aerobics = 360 cal = 1 medium hot chips
1 hour swimming laps= 500 cal = 100g chocolate
What we can learn from this is that unless we are doing intense exercise for at least an hour a day, we probably aren’t going to be burning off enough energy to make a real impact on our weight.
Exercise makes you hungry
After exercise your appetite increases, and you usually eat more that day than you would have otherwise. Your muscles want protein and carbohydrate to refuel, and you may actually eat more calories than you have burned off during your workout!
It can be a little dangerous to think you can choose unhealthy or junk foods as a reward for exercise, especially since the foods we often choose to reward ourselves are energy dense- such as chocolate, cakes, chips, or lollies. As we typically overestimate how much energy our workouts burned, the risk of overeating is high.
Better reasons to exercise:
Instead take an approach of exercising for health, to be strong, to improve muscle mass for higher metabolism, for energy, for great mood which in turn helps you stay positive and optimistic while you are on your weight loss journey.