Photo By: D Sharon Pruitt
When trying to lose weight, a common goal and objective is often pursued in buying a gym membership. One vows to undergo regular sweat sessions in order to combat excessive fat. So what is the problem and why do these regular sweat sessions oftentimes seem to do no good at all?
According to a recent study in the article, "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin", it's oftentimes due to what a person eats after that intense workout session or what's done (or not done) after having exerted oneself.
Expending yourself in the gym oftentimes creates hunger when your body's glycogen storage is running low. So an important factor to look at is what's going on right after excersise? If the answer involves high-calorie, high-sugar energy drinks or greasy junk food, some rethinking may be in order.
Oftentimes after exercise people seem to feel like they "deserve" the junk food that they're craving or they simply won't be as active the rest of the day because they feel as though they already got enough activity in. Similar to the article's example, if a person was to spend 30 minutes on the elliptical machine only to chug a sugar-filled Gatorade right afterwards or eat a muffin from Starbucks, from a weight loss point of view, this person would have been better off never having gone to the gym. Assuming around 300 calories were burned while at the gym, more than that was consumed just eating that muffin. (As the average 6 ounce muffin has 400 calories).
This brings us to the point of it all: when loosing weight and maintaining weight loss, what you eat is about 90% of your success or failure. In fact, when trying to loose a bunch of weight, the most important thing is eating clean and just staying active. Success isn't necessarily about strenuous sweat sessions, but an active and healthy lifestyle mindset. For example, instead of the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of the closest parking spot, take the one further away.
Not to say those intense sweat sessions aren't necessary or good because they are! They improve heart health, cardiovascular strength, and do help blast that fat away. However, next time you're tempted to go eat a muffin or drink a frappuccino right after a hard workout, try a whey protein shake instead, or some fresh fruit (just watch your portion sizes) and your results are likely to be much more positive.