The advantage of working in the health and fitness industry is that I get to do a lot of reading on research studies. Recently, I came across this particular research study which may interest you, especially if you exercise regularly and don’t seem to get the results you want.
The big diet mistake – Using food as a reward for exercise
I’ve worked with a lot of women over the years and I’ve found that quite often, when they go to the gym on their own or with a friend, they overeat after doing cardio sessions. I’m talking about using the treadmill, static bike, rowing machine etc. Maybe an hour spent on one or more of these machines results in an increased appetite.
Doing this type of cardio actually tricks your body into increasing your body fat (NOT losing it!). I know that’s hard to believe because we’ve been programmed to believe that cardio makes you thinner.
The recent study I’m referring to confirms that many people can treat themselves with extra calories just for doing their workout. But you must be careful…
Here is the study reference site: Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24810009
It is very tempting to reward yourself after a workout like this because the calorie counter on the machine in the gym tells you that you burned 500 calories! BUT…and it’s a big BUT, the cardio machines in the gym DO NOT tell you the truth. In fact, some research found that the elliptical machine was inaccurate by about 40%!!!
So, what do people eat to reward themselves?
Some common foods I know of are cereals and cereal bars (so-called healthy bars), fish and chips (!!) and pizza. You’ve heard some people say “I worked really hard at the gym so I’m ENTITLED to a pizza now”.
Unfortunately you just can’t do that IF you want to get weight loss results. You must follow your nutrition plan to get great results. You can still enjoy your treats but not after EVERY workout. What you eat is absolutely crucial – even more important than exercise for fat loss and health! There, I said it!!
So the next time you hit the cardio machines in the gym, go home, have a protein shake and have your healthy meal – fish with vegetables, lean chicken casserole, a healthy stir fry etc.
What else could you eat to stay healthy? Why not download my FREE Eating Plan? It’s full of ideas for meals and snacks – 5 weeks worth in fact.
Download it now: HERE