There is a depressing outcome for some people who exercise to lose weight that they may well put on weight, not lose it.

An Independent article points out the reasons why this may occur and points to studies that seem to back this up.

A good starting point is to realise that one pound of fat equates to about 3,500 calories and that 40 minutes of jogging burns off about 400 calories.

So, if you exercise for 40 minutes then give yourself a quick treat afterwards as some sort of reward that you ‘deserve’ for putting yourself through all that pain then you can see how easy it would be to take in more calories than you lose.

Another point to remember is that muscle is denser than fat so as you trim and tone you could end up not only not losing weight but actually putting weight on. But remember the old adage, ‘you carry fat but muscle carries you’. So don’t get too carried away with the weight side of the equation if you are losing some inches.

It seems that losing weight by exercise alone is a very hard thing to do, even though intense exercise has been found to suppress hunger – but only temporarily. It comes back with a vengeance later.

Another factor is that when you exercise you feel tired afterwards and, guess what, you tend to take things easy form the rest of the time. So overall your physical activity is no different to that of people who do not exercise.

As the report points out you need a good balanced diet coupled with a regular exercise regime that covers both aerobic and anaerobic types of exercise. And just as important vary the exercises as sticking to the same few will reduce the benefits.

if you haven't undertaken rigorous exercise for some time it might also be a good idea to join a gym where they will take you through some checks or visit your GP.

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