“CoachE’, I am not new to workouts o. In fact, I have an annual gym subscription, but these workouts are not just working. I am not seeing any results. Why?”
I get these kinds of questions almost daily. Of course, by results, they mean weight loss. Usually, discussions around weight gain or loss whip up emotions. So, before I get into the gist for today, I’ll quickly remind us to be careful when making comments about people’s weight, especially if you are someone who has never struggled with weight issues.
Recently, I was at an event with some old friends catching up on work and life. One of us arrived the table and we were all falling over ourselves to welcome and hug her, when another of us said:
‘Wow, you have added so much weight o’
Thankfully, the comment was drowned by the noise and I made sure it wasn’t repeated. While I understand that the comment was not made to hurt or ridicule her, I also understood the lady would have experienced in the quest to manage her weight.
“You have added weight”
This is not the phrase to use when catching up with friends or even in general conversations. Whether we admit it or not, weight issues are always very sensitive to people. On the other hand, it is logical to wonder why you are working out and not losing weight, especially when you put in so much effort.
Without mincing words, the reason is simple: You are probably over estimating the work out. The thing is, to achieve weight loss, there are two variables. Your work out and your diet. They are both important, but one takes priority over the other. You can lose weight without working out, but you cannot lose weight through work outs alone without reviewing your diet.
Sadly, most people who want to lose weight are quick to join a gym without making changes to their diet. Naturally, they end up not losing the desired weight.
Think of it this way
You join a gym and train for about 45 – 90 minutes. If you have a heart rate monitor, you would see that your best workout probably burned about 500 to 700 calories, or 1000 calories if the work out was intense. The calorie burn may then make you feel like you have earned eating rights. So, you say YES to that offer of small chops from your colleague, forgetting that the only thing small about small chops is the ‘small’ in the name. Depending on size and content, a pack of small chops could range from it 500 and 1500 calories.
Imagine then that you are stuck in traffic during your drive home. So you buy the usual T sausage roll (500 calories), plantain chips (500 calories) and a bottle of drink (250 calories or more). And none of these were part of the three main meals of the day.
You see, you underestimated the workout, considering all the food you consumed.
Let me also mention
An average woman burns about 100 – 250 calories per work out. You may be sweating and panting, but in a thirty-minute exercise routine, it is a stretch to hit 300 calories. It’s even worse because many of us tend to take breaks between the work out. We stop for selfies, stop for water, stop to check social media updates and then stop because we feel tired. Sadly, the more breaks you take, the lower your heart rate goes. And once your heart rate dips, you burn even less calories.
So yes, I agree that your weight loss journey should include a workout routine for maximum results and a well-toned body, but you must never over estimate the effect of your workout. If you do, you will likely not see the results you desire.