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Let’s Be Honest; You Didn’t Earn That

Filed Under: Men's Health at 4:50 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
SundaeThe best part of exercise is the aftermath. You’ve run a few miles, biked up a (virtually created) mountain, played ball with the guys or lapped the pool for an hour. Now, you can sit back, revel in your accomplishments and have seconds at dinner . . . and maybe dessert. After all, you deserve it. You’ve worked hard for those calories. You should treat yourself.  And by all means, do; I’m not going to stop you. Just don’t expect your weight-loss plan to continue as planned. In fact, don’t expect it to do much.

Yes, exercise will help you lose weight.  Every time you workout, you burn calories. The more calories you burn the more pounds you drop. So, it’s logical (and correct) to assume that enough exercise will provide you with a little bit of diet-wiggle-room.  However, we’re talking wiggle room here not flailing room, and that’s where many people go wrong. They assume that a little extra gym time means a lot of extra food. They up the calorie count, completely defeating the preceding calorie burn.  As such, their weight-loss plan is nullified or, at the very least, deterred. The pounds don’t disappear as quickly as they could have and frustration mounts. Resolve wavers and eventually disappears, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen.

What you do want to happen is well-paced weight loss, spurred by the appropriate balance of diet and exercise. This means that you cannot override your workout with too many added calories. If you really decide that you’ve earned a treat, which sometimes you have, don’t border on excessive. To best understand how many calories you can or cannot have, check out this chart, which lists the average amount of calories burned during various workouts.  Hard work deserves rewards, just not too much.

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