Have you noticed a change in your appetite, when you are getting more exercise than usual? I’m not sure whether I’m really more hungry than usual, or if it’s just a temptation to think that I can get away with eating more of the fattening foods I love because I’m burning more calories than normal…
But, in fact, the average exercise workout will burn off only 300 calories, and that’s just not enough to give an excuse to binge!
No one likes counting calories — and I’ve always suspected that counting calories can actually be a negative thing, because it actually makes you focus more attention on food — but it does help to have in the back of your mind a general idea of two basic things:
- How many calories you should eat in a day, either to maintain your current svelte shape or to drop a few pounds before the holidays sneak up on us… and
- How many calories, in a rough estimate, are your normal portions of the foods you eat most often.
For example, at my height, weight, age, and activity level, according to Prevention’s calorie calculator, taking in 1790 calories a day will keep me at my present weight. To lose weight, a person needs to cut 500 calories a day, by a combination of exercise and self-restraint at the dinner table.
My daily walk for weight loss will burn off 300 calories, so all I’ve got to do is eat 200 calories less each day. So, the goal would be to arrange my diet so as to take in about 1500 calories a day.
Knowing my daily calorie requirements, and using the handy nutritional information that is printed on the side of most food packages these days, it should be easy enough to cut 200 calories — hey, that’s less than a box of Smarties!
Paying attention to what my body is telling me — and not to that greedy little voice in my head that thinks we should be stuffing in the candy and chips! — that’s something I really need to work on a bit more.
Today’s program in the Four Week Walk for Weight Loss calls for doing a round of body-shaping exercises, like we did on Day 4. There’s nothing too hard about the exercise circuit, and it only takes about 10 minutes. What I have noticed, though, is that I feel a lot more hungry (and less able to resist the tempting treats) on a day with even this kind of moderate strength training in it.
On the other hand, a day of straight cardio walking, a long walk at a steady brisk pace, actually seems to cut back the amount I feel like eating.
There’s a lesson here!
Now that I’ve noticed this temptation to snack that comes on body-shaping exercise days (and how ironic is that?!), I’ll just make extra sure to have extra tasty low-calorie snack foods on hand — and to be aware that strength training can make me feel more hungry than I really am.