How Subtle Compensatory Behaviors Undermine Weight Loss

People Using the Stairs at an Office Building

At Metabolic Research Center we have invested countless hours into studying how the body uses energy, processes food, and what will ultimately add up to weight loss. Many of us approach weight loss very actively, regulating what we eat and how we exercise. However, these active processes can be quickly undermined by compensatory behaviors that some people don't even realize they are doing.

Take exercise for example. If we regularly go for a run in the morning to start our day, after a few repetitions we may unknowingly begin eating larger breakfasts as the exercise can make us hungry. It can also make us tired, which may cause us to take the elevator at the office instead of the stairs. These tiny changes can quickly add up and effectively counteract an entire workout.

The majority of our calories are burned by natural body processes. These processes are affected by many components mostly out of our control, such as our hormone levels and metabolic rates. Without addressing these areas, all the exercise in the world won't be a 100% effective weight loss tool. A complete approach to how your body uses energy is the only real way to predict results.

When it comes to exercise, doing a little math can really go a long way. Take running for example. You would have to run rather fast for about an hour to burn off a burger and fries. You'd also have to dance vigorously for about an hour to burn of three glasses of wine you may have on a night out. Love donuts? Well it takes about an hour of cycling to burn off two standard-glazed donuts. When you look at the math, calories and exercise are not equal. Eating healthy foods in the correct portions can ultimately have a greater impact on weight loss than exercising while eating poorly.

Continue to be mindful of what you eat and what you do. Notice changes in your patterns as well as how they affect other parts of your life. If a heavy workout made you eat more later in the day, it really wasn't worth it. So, change your eating habit and have a high-protein snack or drink available to satisfy your afternoon cravings. Simple changes can make a world of difference.


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