Question: I do 40 minutes of cardio five times per week but can’t seem to lose weight. What else can I do?
Answer: Even if you exercise regularly, your hard work can be “undone” by excessive sitting the rest of the day (i.e., desk job, watching television). Based on the Ainsworth Compendium of Physical Activities, for a 70 kilogram (154 lb) person, adding two (cumulative) hours per day of light movement to your regular routine can translate to an extra 15kg (33 lbs) of weight loss per year.
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When you start a new exercise regimen, your daily energy expenditure also increases which might result in you inadvertently eating slightly more than usual. This could be in the form of eating imperceptibly more at mealtime or snacking at other times of the day.
Bottom line: waste energy at all times of the day. Walk to the bus stop, stand on the train, take the stairs, use a standing workstation, or swap the shopping trolley (cart) for a hand basket. Pay particular attention during mealtime. Make sure you’re eating according to physical hunger signals and not emotional cues (boredom, stress, etc). Every little bit counts. The small changes you make today equate to big changes tomorrow.