Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exercise does NOT counteract your diet!

Over the last number of years the participation of men and women in the sport of running has been increasing. A casual glance at the body shapes and sizes at any race weekend and intuitively one could surmise that weight loss may be one of the drivers of this trend. But does indulging yourself with a favourite treat post run or using those long slow distance weekend runs as a rationale for an all you can eat brunch actually defeat your weight loss goals? Well….you might need to take heed of some dietary advice: exercise does not counteract your diet. Weight loss research consistently shows that if you want to lose body fat, your need to CONSISTENTLY eat fewer calories then your caloric output (basal metabolic rate + any physical activity needs). And this is where many of us overestimate output and underestimate input…….and current research shows that our caloric intake is influenced not only by plate sizes that our food is served on but also by the body types of who we choose to eat with – we model the eating behaviour of those we want to look like and/or perform like – so post workout refueling with a speedy and/or slimmer friend who is piling his or her plate with food may be ruining your weight loss goals IF you decide to follow their eating behaviour! Instead, make a plan for what you need to get post workout and stick to that plan. It is better to err on the side of slightly less than more than you need when it comes to calories in!

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