Some psychological things happen when we exercise, too. We tend to be pretty bad at estimating how much we’re eating, and pretty good at underestimating it. We forget extras we might add in: the coffee, the muffin, the smoothie; the wine.
It’s a bit like spending. It’s pretty easy to forget the little extras we pop on the credit card – $20 here, $10 there – but those charges can add up to a surprise when we get the statement at the end of the month.
Sometimes when we exercise we overcompensate, too. We might reward ourselves for a good workout with a little treat – I deserve this bliss ball, dammit, I went to the gym today! And exercise can make us feel hungrier sometimes, so we might eat more. Any of these things can easily undo any weight loss benefit we might have had from the exercise.
That doesn’t mean we should abandon working out. As we know, exercise is super good for body and mind, and offers us a huge range of health gains. It’s been said that if the benefits conferred by regular exercise could be put into a pill, it would be a wonder drug, preventing millions of deaths. So, we really need to keep moving. Think of exercise as a health essential; part of the ‘health gain’ plan I talked about a couple of weeks ago.
If weight loss is a goal though, the answer might be as simple as borrowing from the budgeting experts: keeping an eye on those little food ‘expenditures’ – the extras we don’t need that we eat and drink habitually. We know hardcore diets don’t work, long term, but changing everyday habits can. Ditch the sweet treat you always have with your coffee. Think about whether you really need a snack after a workout, or can you wait for the next meal? Choose water instead of a sports drink or juice to rehydrate. Skip the pre-dinner wine and nibbles during the week.
Small changes, over time, can add up to significant gains. It’s true for exercise – we will get fitter and stronger and healthier – and it goes double (or triple) for food.
Interested in giving Woop a try?