22 August 2009

Mission Accomplished

I use that title because I'm sure it pisses some people off :) Anyway, I got my 30 minutes of intervals in on the elliptical machine and the dogs got a trip to the dog park. I'm now sitting here eating yogurt, granola, and a banana because I know we are going to Chili's for lunch and I don't want to pig out.

A week or so ago I picked up the Time magazine with the article on why exercise won't make you thin. You can read it here if you like. The gist of the story is that exercise is not essential for losing weight. That in actuality excising will increase your appetite and cause you to eat which basically wipes out the caloric burn of the activity you did. I read this article and thought they really were missing the whole point of working out, at least the point in my mind.

I workout for a variety of reasons not just to lose weight. I workout because I like the way it makes me feel. I workout because I prefer not to huff and puff when I go up stairs. I workout because I'd rather see muscles than flabby flab. Also, I find that by working out in the mornings it sets me up for success all day. I may only burn 200 or 300 calories but it starts the day on a very positive note. When I work out in the morning I have a much easier time sticking to my eating plan during the day. I'm not sure if it's because I feel virtuous or it triggers something in my brain or what, but it works. Also, if you're working out to lose weight you have to count calories. You have to. There is no way around it. So, as some people in that article did, they would go workout then hit Starbucks. Doh?!?!?! I wonder why they aren't losing weight??? If you've done any reading or research about losing weight you would have come across the fact that 80% of losing weight is food related. Only 20% is activity related. It's hard to burn enough calories to eat anything you want and not gain weight. That only happens to elite athletes. During the Tour de France the cyclists consumer around 10,000 cals per day. That's during the race. As soon as they are done racing they have to cut that back a lot in order not to gain weight, and a cyclist does not want to gain weight!!

The bottom line for me is that working out provides me a mental boost that makes it easier for me to succeed at losing weight. I don't look at it as the means to losing weight, it's merely another tool in my weight loss kit......

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