Want to burn fat and shrink your waistline? The latest studies show that exercise alone won't help you! It may be tempting to believe that working out is a free pass to indulge in cookies and cheat on your diet. Many gym goers actually do that. Unfortunately, things don't work this way. Diet and exercise together is important. One without the other is a setup for failure.
Exercise Alone Won't Cause Weight Loss
Weight loss requires a calorie deficit. Whether you want to shed five or 50 pounds, it's necessary to take in fewer calories than you burn. Exercise does burn calories, but it's not enough to reach the desired weight. Even though you might lose pounds in the first month, your body will eventually adapt. Over time, it will learn to survive on fewer calories.
Additionally, exercise increases appetite. Since your body burns more calories, it requires more fuel. Unless you watch your diet, you might end up overeating or choosing high calorie foods. Things are even worse for those who spend too much time in the gym. Over-training raises the stress hormone cortisol levels, which further increases hunger. Our metabolism is a lot more complicated than calories in versus calories out. What you eat can make or break your progress. Check-out our blog article, Energize Your Workout and Maximize Your Results, for a simple check-list to follow when selecting your pre-workout food and/or beverage.
What's the Best Approach?
Theoretically, it is possible to create a calorie deficit just by working out. However, it rarely works in practice. First of all, most people don't track their daily calorie intake. Secondly, not all calories are created equal. 400 calories worth of lean beef are not the same as 400 calories worth of potatoes, popcorn, or ice cream. Thirdly, exercise only accounts for a small part of our daily calorie burn.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat mindfully and stick to your workouts. Don’t worry – there is no need to go on crash diets or starve yourself. Just make sure you choose the right foods in optimum amounts. Determine your daily calorie intake based on your goals, focus on protein, and cut back on carbs. Get the rest of your calories from healthy fats.
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