Why You Burn Fewer Calories Than You Think While Exercising
As a fitness trainer, my clients often ask me the same question at the end of our workouts: How many calories did I burn? Unfortunately, I cannot give a clear and spontaneous answer to this question. Because if it seems simple at first glance, the answer is much more complicated.
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I can already tell you one thing: The number of calories you burn during exercise is very subjective, and in most cases, less than you think. Many of us overestimate the amount of calories we burn. But
don't let that discourage you, and above all, keep training! Because even if you don't have control over many of the factors that determine your energy expenditure during training, you can still
control some of them. Especially since workouts are only half the effort to reach your fitness goals! Here, I give you an overview of the factors that affect your energy consumption during training and a way to use this knowledge to achieve your goals.
1 - your weight
A calorie is a physical unit of energy. That's why the more weight you have, the more energy you need to move your body. In short, if two people do exactly the same exercise, the person with the highest
weight will burn more calories. A study shows that even the size of your internal organs has an effect on the number of calories you burn while training. What can you glean from this information? If you're
in the middle of your weight loss journey (meaning you haven't reached your ideal weight yet, but have already lost a few pounds), you'll need to adjust your calorie intake to your new weight. Because whoever weighs less consumes less energy.
Of course, weight isn't the only factor to consider: your body composition is just as important. Which brings us to the next point.
2- Your muscle percentage
Did you know that your muscles burn real calories? And that is, during training and during rest. So it makes sense that the more muscle you have, the more energy you'll consume during training.
Concretely, what does this mean to you? If you want to burn more calories in your workouts and in everyday life, you should focus on strength exercises. A progressive training program, such as the 21-
Day Total Body Challenge, combined with a high-protein diet, will give a real boost to your muscle building. So, to your dumbbells!
3 - your age
As we age, we tend to have less muscle mass. The reasons for this phenomenon are not yet fully known. A study from the Aging Research Review posits that as we age, our bodies produce fewer
hormones that play an important role in muscle protein synthesis, such as testosterone. This can then lead to a decrease in our muscle mass as we age. What lessons can we draw from this? We're all
getting old and there's nothing we can do about it. But it's not just your age that determines your muscle mass: your lifestyle and habits also decisively contribute. That's why it's important to do strength training regularly in old age and to monitor your diet.
4 - Your physical form
Over time, your body adapts to your training. If you've been doing the same exercise for years without increasing your effort, you'll burn fewer calories than someone who's just starting out. Quite
simply because your body is now more efficient, which is great! But it also needs more challenging training. In your training program, be sure to gradually increase your level over time. Find out how to do it here.
5- The intensity of your workouts
Do you give it your all when you exercise? During the same training session, one person might reach their limits while another would only use half their strength. This factor also affects calorie
consumption. Of course, it is necessary to always listen to your body. Your performance may vary from day to day, as it is affected by many elements such as sleep, stress, etc. But if you feel you can go a little further, feel free! It is no coincidence that we say "we get nothing for nothing".
Finally, I have one last important tip for you: Don't focus on the exact number of calories you burn during exercise. Because that's not its primary purpose! Exercise releases happy hormones, reduces
stress, activates your muscles, and has a positive impact on your overall health. Moreover, your day has 24 hours and your training is
only a small part of it. When it comes to burning calories, an active lifestyle is most important. Try to move a lot in your daily life and watch your diet. The first results will not be long in coming!