Archive for the Category Exercise


Calorie Compensation Effect Of Exercise

You might be wondering about exercise and what it can do for weight loss. The simple answer is most of us don’t exercise enough to even bother including it as part of our calorie burn.

Some research has even shown that a weight loss diet combined with exercise doesn’t improve weight loss beyond dieting alone. I believe this is because we tend to eat a bit more food after we exercise which ends up offsetting the extra calories burned from exercising.

In other words, it’s one step forward and one step backwards. This is called the ‘calorie compensation effect’ of exercise.

This effect isn’t very obvious. You may not even realize that you’re eating slightly more food throughout the day. If you leave up to ‘feel’ you will always eat up the extra calories that you attempt to burn off with exercise. This is because your body is really good and telling you to put back all the calories you’ve burned off.

When you try to exercise off the calories you need to have a pre-determined calorie goal in mind, otherwise you’ll just eat more food and end up right back where you started.

This calorie compensation effect happens to everyone who exercises. They key to making exercise work for fat loss is having a pre-determined calorie goal and STICKING TO THAT GOAL. If you just go by how you feel it’ll never work.

Working Out with Eat Stop Eat

Many people in the fitness industry promote a combination of “fat burning” workouts and “muscle building” nutrition.

I believe this is a completely backwards and highly ineffective approach to improving the looks of your body.

Here’s why:

It’s very difficult to lose weight purely by working out, whether you try long distance running, interval training, high-intensity weight training, or any combination of the three.

Individuals may push their “ultra fat burning workouts,” but the truth is that exercise alone is a poor stimulus for weight loss. Even if the workouts are metabolically demanding, they actually have a very small effect on calorie burning.

Some calories are burned after hard workouts, but it is only about 8 to 10 extra calories per hour, and they usually don’t burn for the 24-36 hour timeframe some people promote. Research concerning after-exercise metabolism boosts is inconclusive at best.

Furthermore, there is very little proof that any type of eating style can build muscle. There are plenty of companies and individuals who say that certain eating methods will help you gain massive amounts of muscle mass, but these claims aren’t backed by science.

I have been researching as I work on my new book, “How Much Protein?” and I can tell you that there is very little evidence that any type of diet can build muscle. Diet has very little to do with building muscle.

Putting the two myths together can get you in a messy situation.

If you follow the myths, you will be eating high protein and more calories multiple times per day to gain muscle, and you’ll be working out with fancy weight training circuits, cardio intervals and lots of ab exercises to burn fat.

Neither approach is effective, so you’ll end up spending a lot of time in the gym and a lot of time worrying about your diet, but you’ll won’t see any results.

It would be better to eat for weight loss and to work out to build or maintain muscle.

Research does prove that eating less will cause you to lose weight. And research also proves that muscle-building workouts will preserve muscle mass, ensuring that weight you lose comes from body fat.

Eat Stop Eat uses a combination of fasting and resistance training. The combination of the two leads to optimal fat loss with the least amount of physical or mental work.

The most ideal way to improve the way your body looks is to eat for weight loss and exercise to build muscle. It sounds simple, but it’s actually rather difficult to accomplish. It’s easy to be distracted by the latest and greatest new ways to burn fat in the gym.

If you’re looking to change the way your body looks, keep your workouts simple and geared toward building muscle, and let your diet take care of your fat loss.

To do this, you’ll have to follow a few simple rules:

  • Switch to lower reps. If you’ve been doing 15-20 rep exercises, try increasing the weight and doing sets of 5-8 reps.
  • Stop doing most isolation exercises. Instead, use total-body, multi-muscle movements.
  • Stop doing crunches and sit-ups. Instead, focus on larger multi-muscle movements.
  • Change your workouts frequently.

And for your diet:

  • Find an easy way to eat less than it takes to maintain your current body weight, and use that method. (This is the only truly important diet tip for weight loss.)

If you’re stuck spending hours in the gym every day and trying to eat in a way that supposedly maintains or builds muscle, try changing your approach and see what an amazing difference it can make.

When you have begun eating for weight loss and exercising for muscle building, then you can add exercises like intervals or metabolically demanding body weight exercises to speed up the fat burning process. Only do this if you have the first two steps set into motion.

Eat Stop Exercise

Want to make the Eat Stop Eat plan even more effective? Incorporate an interval training exercise program.

According to research, high intensity exercise – such as interval training – increases your body’s ability to recover better than prolonged low intensity exercise (Brockman et al, 1993).

Clinical research also shows that a more pronounced reduction in subcutaneous adiposity (the fat just under the skin) occurs when high intensity interval training programs are utilized rather than traditional endurance training programs (Tremblay et al, 1994).

Exercise regimes such as the Tabata protocols were designed by Japanese sports scientists to condition athletes using interval training. Their research showed that “high-intensity intermittent training may improve both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly.” (Tabata et al, 1996).

Interval training, however, is a highly demanding exercise program, which could be too stressful for many individuals. Most experts agree that low intensity, long-duration exercise is preferable for the general public because it “results in a greater total fat oxidation than does moderate intensity exercise.” (Thompson et al, 1998).

Successful weight loss begins with a change in your diet. Next, follow a resistance training program to maintain muscle mass. When you begin following a weight loss lifestyle like Eat Stop Eat, try adding interval training exercises to your routine.

For your physical and mental health, you should also include traditional long, slow cardio exercises, like walking, as part of your fitness program.

My advice is as follows – Eat to lose weight and exercise to maintain or build your muscles. If you have extra time, try interval training or traditional walking to see if you can lose even more weight. If you do, that’s an added bonus. If you don’t, don’t be afraid to stop interval training and try something else.

The Activity Lie: Why Balance is Key to Weight Loss