If you work out at the gym or wherever you do your exercises, do you reward yourself afterwards? Many of us do but if you want to lose weight, you actually should not. It is very tempting to say ‘hey, I worked hard and I must have burned so many calories that I deserve an extra snack or even an alcoholic drink’. If you do, you might actually consume more calories than you just lost by exercising and the result might be that you actually gain weight instead of losing it!
You might think that you burned a whole lot of calories on the treadmill or on the stationary bike because you really did the best you could and you kept up the pace for almost a half hour. Unfortunately, the reality is that you burned about 180 calories if you weigh 200 pounds (source: Mayo Clinic) during the half hour and that may not be as much as you thought. According to snickers.com, a snickers bar contains 250 calories so if you reward yourself with one, you gained 70. And a can of mid-strength beer contains 125 calories so if you drink two of those the bottom line is that you gained the same 70 calories.
To avoid rewarding yourself, the best times to exercise is before breakfast, lunch or dinner. Then the reward is the meal itself but be careful, don’t take seconds! And remember, drinking (a lot of) water during or after a workout also helps to fill you up but does not add the calories.
Think about this the next time you work out. No snacking afterwards!