After Exercise – Refuel Don’t Reward
We all know that calories get burnt when we exercise, but did you know that we burn calories when we are doing nothing? Therefore if you rely on the ‘calories’ that you understand a particular exercise has used remember, that a proportion of those calories would have been used anyway.
The tendency is to ‘reward’ ourselves after a workout which can go wrong in two ways!
1. We eat the wrong food because we are eating for the wrong reason
2. We eat too much
If you think about ‘refuelling’ after exercise rather than ‘rewarding’ it will help you to make the right choices. Remember that your body was already burning calories before you started the session and you would not ‘reward’ yourself for doing nothing.
Common sense will guide you away from ’empty’ calories which have no nutritional value and therefore no refuelling benefits.
You will not be alone at underestimating the type (good or bad) and the amount of calories that you consume. The lesson here is to ask yourself, am I eating a good balance? and be aware of when enough is enough!
Anyone who has spoken to me about losing weight will know I am not a fan of calorie counting. That comes partly from seeing so many people who have an unhealthy relationship with food. Focussing to such an extent on every mouthful can turn food into the number one enemy when in fact it is your greatest friend!
There are also many studies which show the following results:
Combining a low calorie diet with lengthy cardio workouts is sure to have a detrimental effect on your body.
This is because not only does your body adapt so you have to do more to get the same result, but as low-calorie diets tend to be low in carbohydrate, once you’ve used up any carbohydrate stored in the muscle, the body starts to use the muscle itself for energy. So, not only are you not losing fat, you’re losing muscle mass.
I used to despair when people who attended my 45 minute rowing class then immediately attended a 45 minute cycle class. Subconsciously they would have saved themselves enough energy to manage the second very similar class! Classes which focus on different energy systems are a more balanced way to extend exercise if a long workout suits you. Apart from that I knew the next 45 minutes would almost certainly start to reverse the good they had just done.
Please do not read this and think ‘what’s the point’ I would be mortified! Exercise is has so many benefits I would be writing for days to go through them all.
Vital To Understand
If you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is lose muscle mass. The more muscle mass we have, the more calories we burn.
My business is all about fitness, nutrition and weight management. I would be remiss if I did not emphasise the importance of getting them BOTH right, and more importantly, at the same time!