As we begin to lose weight and get healthier it’s only natural for our energy levels to rise and want to begin a work out routine. Unfortunately many of us don’t take into account that when you begin to exercise you also need to raise your calorie intake. As I discussed in a previous blog post Common Misconceptions when it comes to Weight Loss, many of our patients believe that if they don’t eat they will lose weight. Sadly enough this also tends to carry over with working out, many of our patients will begin a vigorous work out routine and continue to eat the calorie intake given to them for non-work out days.
Why is this a problem you ask? Well in order for our bodies to continue to lose weight effectively we need to give it proper nutrition on a daily basis. Working out for two hours and not re-nourishing your body will cause your body to hold onto that very fat you are trying to get rid of. Our bodies are like machines and if you don’t give that machine fuel to work efficiently it will essentially break down. I’m sure you have seen those t-shirts on Pinterest that read something along the lines of “I run because I really really like food.” It may sound funny but it’s the truth, in order for anyone to see the results they are trying to achieve by starting an exercise routine they must also adjust their diet to fit that routine accordingly.
So how many additional calories should you be adding to your diet when you work out? The general rule of thumb is for every 30 minutes of exercise you do you should add 100 calories of a lean protein. I say general rule because every body is different and if you are just starting a work out routine your metabolism may not burn calories as quickly as someone who works out on a daily basis. Also 30 minutes of light walking compared to running at a rate of 4.5 mph for 30 minutes means the difference of a couple of hundred calories that you have burned.
Finding the right balance of calories you should be eating to the work out routine you choose may take a little bit of time to iron out but it’s important to monitor yourself and your progress. If you see the scale not moving, feel tired or even hungrier than usual you may need to re-think your weight loss routine and how it’s working with your work out routine. Don’t be discouraged you will find a happy balance!