Sunday, April 27, 2014

I started exercising regularly, but I’m actually gaining weight. What’s going on?

Hi there, this is Jonathan Clark from Lose Weight For Scotland – it’s my mission to Crush Obesity, Add Years To Your Life & help you to Look Good Naked!  I challenge Scots to lose 10 lbs of fat or gain 10 lbs of muscle, even if they’ve tried everything else, and it’s guaranteed.  One of the questions I get asked all the time is I started exercising regularly, but I’m actually gaining weight. What’s going on?

A: This is not unusual. Newbies are often surprised to discover how easy it is to put on pounds even when you start exercising. Starting an exercise routine almost always requires more effort, which boosts the number of calories you burn as well as your appetite. Your body is trying to help fuel your increased activity.  It's worse for women: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts discovered this heightened sense of hunger is stronger in women than men because exercise accelerates the production of appetite-regulating hormones, prompting them to eat more; men, it turns out, aren't as susceptible to these changes. 

Pay attention to whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or simply giving in to cravings or feelings of entitlement. When your body truly needs food, you'll experience fatigue, a rumbling stomach, or hunger pangs that accumulate over time.  That’s DIFFERENT from a craving.

To keep cravings at bay, remove temptations from your sight—if biscuits aren't on the kitchen shelf, chances are they won't call your name. You can also try a diversion, such as taking a walk; studies have shown that a brisk 15-minute walk reduces chocolate cravings. Or use your stopwatch as a tool: Force yourself to wait 20 minutes before giving in. Usually after 20 minutes have lapsed, the urge is no longer as strong. 

And try to avoid falling into the "I deserve it" mind-set. A 30-minute walk does not entitle you to inhale an entire pizza.   You have to avoid eating above and beyond what you need for recovery and wiping out the calorie deficit that you created during a workout—so make smarter food choices all day. 

Eat mostly whole, minimally processed foods rich in carbs, fiber, and protein. The latter two take longer to digest, keeping hunger at bay and helping you avoid eating more than you should. High-fiber foods (vegetables, fruits, grains) are often low in calories but filling, making them great for weight control.  Don't fill up on carbs from processed grains and sweets. Instead, carb-load with whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, which are more filling and nutrient-dense. And be sure to track what you eat: In general people tend to vastly overestimate the number of calories they burn, and underestimate the number of calories they consume.

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