Eat less and exercise more might be the over-simplified advise to lose weight, but many people struggle with weight gain once they start an exercise program. In fact a 2013 study found sedentary people who started exercising lost far less weight than expected despite the number of calories they burned when working out.
Why does this occur? Many scientists believe the body tries to compensate for the new exercise by increasing appetite and reducing activity later in the day which limits weight loss.
Our body doesn’t understand we live in a modern society with vending machines and fast food restaurants everywhere around us. Our body, to some degree, thinks we still live in a cave and need to eat for survival. In a caveman world where food is scarce and only the strong survive weight loss would be detrimental. The drive to keep eating is embedded deep within our DNA.
Hunger aside, we also respond to rewards and might reach for a treat after a grueling workout. Briskly walking for an hour might burn 200 calories but the fruit smoothie we drink afterwards might contain over 400.
Exercise might increase appetite, but is has a very important role in protecting our health. In fact independent of weight loss, studies show improvements in blood sugar, liver enzymes, cholesterol, and blood pressure with regular exercise. Studies show people who live more active lives can live longer.
A 2016 systematic review of physical activity and obesity studies found calorie restriction combined with exercise was more effective for weight loss than exercise alone or diet alone. What we eat, the amount we eat, and the amount of energy we expend in one day has a very big impact on weight management.
What amount is right for you? Our team can measure your calorie requirements and design a plan to help you reach your goals. It is never too late to start working on healthy goals, even during a busy holiday season. Call our office and schedule your appointment today.