Exercise could be making you fat
Despite being told this over and over again, it hasnít always been consistent with my experience. In fact, at times Iíve lost more weight not exercising at all and recently I read about a university study that partly explained why.
Apparently a Queensland University of Technology study has found that exercise can increase some peopleís craving for high-energy and sugary foods, like chocolate, donuts, biscuits, etc, which in turn prevents them from losing weight.
Thatís what exercise does to me.
There is a survival mechanism in all of us called homeostasis. Basically, homeostasis means that our bodies want things to stay as they are. If we exercise, our body tells us pretty quickly afterwards that it wants us to replace the energy weíve just spent (and add a bit extra just in case weíre thinking of exercising again).
Iíve got some more reasons of my own why increased amounts of exercise doesnít help some of us lose weight.
The first of those is permission. I donít know about you, but when Iím exercising regularly I reward myself, and my favourite reward is food. Ever heard that little voice in your head saying ďitís OK to have another slice of pizza, youíve been exercising a lot lately, you deserve itĒ? I have a lot.
Another reason increased exercise doesnít always show up as a lower number on the bathroom scales is that some exercise increases our muscle mass, which actually increases our weight.
I particularly like weight training and as well as making my muscles bigger and stronger, it also makes my bodyweight heavier.
Another reason many of us, including me, donít always get the level of weight loss we expect from increased exercise is that we underestimate the amount of exercise we need to do to lose weight, and conversely overestimate the results weíre going to get from the exercise we do.
To lose 1 pound of bodyweight, or Ĺ kilogram, we need to burn an extra 600 calories or 2500kj per day for a week.† †As youíll see if you visit the Exercise Energy Charts page on weightloss.com.au, a 50kg (110lbs) person jogging for 30 minutes burns a little over 200 calories and a 100kg (220lbs) person would burn a little over 400 calories. In other words, if you weigh between 50kg and 100kg and you started jogging for 30 minutes everyday for a week, you wouldnít even lose 1 pound or Ĺ kilogram. For most of us thatís a lot of effort for not much gain.
So does this all mean that none of us should be exercising if we want to lose weight? No. Exercise does help produce good weight loss results for some people (maybe just not me). In addition, exercise does produce a whole lot of other health related benefits, like a healthier heart and lungs, stronger muscles and bones, and it helps prevent or reverse some serious illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Exercise can also be fun and a great way to enjoy the outdoors and socialise with family and friends. Personally, I still like exercise and I plan to keep on doing it for as long as I am able, even if it doesnít help me to lose all the weight I want.
Good luck with your weight loss and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.
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This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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