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With the good weather...

Posted: Apr 2, 2013

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With the good weather...

“coming, I will be more active”.  This is a comment that I here almost daily this time of year.  And I couldn't be happier that my clients want to increase their physical activity as it's one of the best things a person can do to improve their health.  My concern is when clients believe that this increase in activity will lead to weight loss.  While it can buffer your intake (you may get away with an extra 100 calories/day), it is highly unlikely that you will notice a difference on the scale - if anything, you may notice that you gain weight as you overestimate the number of calories burned during activity and underestimate how many you consume.  For example, let's say that you burn 200 calories (the average amount of calories burned for a 180 pound individual) during your 45 minute power walk but then have a 300 calorie snack (e.g. 500mL chocolate milk – touted as a healthy post-exercise choice (FYI: it's not as it is very high in added sugar)) immediately after words.  You have now erased the deficit you created and added an additional 100 calories. 

Not only that, but what happens when the poor weather comes back and you curtail your outdoor time?  Many become sedentary once more until the nicer weather returns.  Instead, focus on finding ways to stay active all year round whether it is outside or indoors.  Spin classes, weight-training, the treadmill or stationary biking can be done year-round.  During the winter months, why not try cross-country skiing or skating?

Mark McGill, RD