You’ve heard it. Get moving. Pick up the pace. Combine exercise with dieting and you’re going to shed those pounds. Except it’s not working. Here are 4 reasons your exercise program may not be helping you lose pounds.
1. You Aren’t Really Counting Correctly. You think that you should be losing weight. After all, you worked out for more than an hour every day. You’re eating better. But, are you? Take a look at some of these facts. You can eat 500 calories in 5 minutes or less, but it would take two hours of moderate exercise to burn those same calories. Walking for a half an hour for someone who weighs 155 pounds burns only 150 calories – that’s half a bagel, a plain bagel. Think of 300 calories this way. Those 300 calories are only 2 ounces of potato chips but you you’d have to take a 3 mile run to burn those same calories.
2. Exercise Makes You Hungrier. According to Christopher Ochner, a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York, it’s called “calorie compensation”. You put in a good, heavy workout and the next day you may find yourself hungry enough to increase what you eat. Ochner goes so far as to suggest that you don’t increase exercise at the start of a diet.
3. It’s About The Reward. You made it through your whole routine at the gym. Now, you need a pick-me-up so you reward yourself with great (sugary?!?) smoothie or an extra helping of pasta. After all, you need to fuel your body after it worked so hard! That reward might be canceling your hard work (see #1).
4. You Really Move Less. You did it! You worked out! You took that challenging hike. You went for a long – really long – walk with the dog. You may feel like you’ve accomplished what you needed to accomplish or you may feel tired. However, if you spend the rest of the day moving less – driving to the store instead of walking, getting on the elevator instead of taking the stairs or, simply, settling down to watch a movie. If you combine a little exercise with a lot less movement, you may actually burn less total energy during the day.
You don’t want to give up exercise. It helps make and keep you healthy, but it may not be the answer to your weight loss quest. Consider a visit to a medical weight loss spa. They’ll work with you as an individual and give you medical-grade help to take off the pounds – whether you just want to get down to your “fighting weight” with the loss of 10 or 15 pounds or if you need to lose a large amount of weight to regain your good health. Give yourself the support and advice you need with a qualified staff and under the supervision of a weight-loss doctor. It’s going to get you started on a successful diet!