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Does Exercise Help You Control Your Food Intake?

Posted Nov 14 2011 4:33am

Huffing and puffing up hills when I lived in Florida was a hard task for me at 300 pounds. I literally thought I was not going to make it back home those first weeks even though I only walked for a few minutes at a time. Once I got back to the house, the last thing I wanted to do was eat junk food that would negate my hard earned calorie burn.

Before I committed to using exercise as one of my strategies to losing weight, I avoided all semblances of activity, instead sitting on the couch eating or complaining to John that it was absolutely impossible to lose weight. And in one respect I was right – it was absolutely impossible to lose weight without trying.

Exercise did me a lot of good such as helping firm up while losing 150 pounds, improving my rate of weight loss, building lean muscle mass, and helping my blood pressure go down. A side benefit for me was the fact that I found regular exercise to be a help when trying to control how much food I ate.

I quickly learned that although I thought I was dying while walking for 20 minutes, I was actually only burning about 150 or 200 calories. I also knew that one candy bar had more calories than that, and if I came home and rewarded myself with candy, I was negating all the huffing and puffing that had just occurred. Even when I exercised for longer periods of time and burned a few more calories, I still knew better than to wipe out my calorie burn with junk.

Consistent exercise throughout the years of weight maintenance has definitely played as much of a role in my weight maintenance as it did my weight loss. I still weigh the calorie burn with food calories from extra, non-essential foods. Sure I could have a cookie, but do I really want to waste my exercise on a cookie rather than something that has more nutritional benefits? Sometimes I do, but more often than not, I pass on the cookie.

As you exercise, I’d encourage you to keep in mind how many calories you may be burning, and weigh eating those calories in non-essential foods. Here’s a few exercises and their approximate calorie burns for a 150-pound person performing 30 minutes of common exercises from a report from Dr. Frans Wackers of Yale University .

♥ Biking at 10 mph burns 210 calories

♥  Aerobic dancing burns 270 calories

♥  Walking at 4 mph (15 minutes per mile) burns 210 calories

♥  Walking at 2 mph (30 minutes per mile) burns 90 calories

♥  Fast jump roping burns 330 calories

♥  Running at 10 mph burns 510 calories

Like anything else in this weight loss process, it’s about a balance between calories burned and calories eaten, needs versus wants, and learning to control your impulses and take advantage of the good decisions you make that get you closer to your goals.

Do you think that regular exercise helps you make good food choices, or keeps you from eating foods you don’t need? Diane

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