Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A blurb on Eating & Exercise

Many people work out most days of the week but never lose a pound. One reason could be because you are replacing fat with muscle (muscle weighs more than fat). Another plausible reason is that you think you burn more calories than you actually do and are overcompensating by eating too much.

If you just hop on an elliptical for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, chances are you don’t need your pre- and post- workout meals or sports drinks. Sure, you shouldn’t exercise in the afternoon after not having eaten all day…. but you certainly don’t need to fuel up and re-fuel after as if you ran 15 miles.

  • If you are on a calorie-restricted diet, consume carbs before a workout to spare your body from breaking down muscle for energy.
  • Drink water during workouts lasting <90 minutes (unless you sweat excessively or the workout is extremely intense- then sports drinks may be appropriate)
  • After an long and intense workout with resistance training, consume a carb-protein snack/meal in a 3:1 ratio (Whole wheat sandwich with 2 tbsp peanut butter)
  • If you are exercising everyday and still gaining unwanted weight, re-evaluate how many calories you are ingesting
You may need to work with a dietitian if you are still unable to estimate your calorie needs, calorie intake, and daily energy expenditure. I do not recommend following the “rules of thumb” calorie estimates, such as “100 calories burned for every mile run” or “600 calories burned for every hour of spin.” These estimates are usually based on a 150-lb person and the calories vary significantly depending on the intensity of the exercise (eg: running at 8 mph vs. 4 mph). So, if you are 5’1″ and weigh 105 lbs, you most likely do not burn anywhere near the estimated calories for these activities. Then again, if you are 6’0″ and 300 pounds and go all-out during an hour of spinning you could be burning close to 1,000 calories in an hour.

If you are interested in learning about your specific needs, please contact me and we can set up an appointment where I can tell you your average daily intake of calories, the calories you burn each day, and how many calories you need (+ meal ideas) to reach your weight goals.

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