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Exercise and Weight Gain Explained. Weigh in on the facts: Losing weight depends not only what you eat but also on the type of exercise you do

October 25, 2011 By RHP Staff

Here’s some interesting new research being published that will make you think twice about doing those biweekly, strenuous workouts at your local health club. Those sweaty, hour-long aerobics sessions actually make you gain weight!

Vigorous exercise actually stimulates your hunger and you end up eating more. And if you ignore those intense hunger pangs, the stress of it all may trigger weight gain. Sure you burn calories after a tough workout, but what do you do afterwards? Most people crave sugary calories. Check out the trash bins at your local health club, they are brimming with empty sports drinks and candy wrappers. Those acid green sports drinks contain a whopping 130 calories along with those innocent electrolytes.

What’s going in our heads here? You’re thinking, “I just burned a whole lot of calories doing all those reps so now I can eat and it won’t put on weight. Right?” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you’re going to neutralize all that hard work with just half of that chocolate bar!

The bottom line is: longer, moderate intensity workouts can burn more fat than intense short duration exercise. Those brief intense sessions burn more carbohydrates than fat. A slow, sustained workout will trigger your hunger, but not as much as a vigorous, short set at the gym will.

Psychologists have also found that your self-control weakens after forcing yourself into an hour-long vigorous workout like a jog. You have exercised so much self control to run your body around the track that when you’re done, your ability to control your cravings is weak. Your capacity for self control is like a muscle; if you overuse it, it feels weak. Instead of using your better judgment, you cave into your cravings and order the pizza instead of what you know is better, the green salad.

Losing weight is not about getting to the gym twice week. It’s about developing a physically active lifestyle. Doctors are now urging people to increase daily activity with simple measures. Park the car further away from the store entrance, get up, walk around outside after every half hour at the computer, take long leisurely walks, or practice slow moving tai chi. Wherever you see an opportunity to move, take it! Recent studies have proven that even fidgeting burns calories.

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