Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could burn thousands of calories per day? We would spend hours at the gym, training hard to burn all of our body fat in just a few short weeks, rather than putting in months of work and dieting. Sadly, that’s not how things work. According to a new study, your body has a “max calories per day” it can burn. Even doing a ton of exercise won’t change that!
The study, published in January 2016, discovered that doing more exercise isn’t going to guarantee better calorie-burning. In fact, it turns out that your body actually adapts to meet the demands placed on it by exercise, becoming more efficient so that it will only expend the same amount of energy that it did before you worked out.
The participants in this study were monitored to determine how much energy they used during a week of training. The researchers calculated the calories burned per day. The study discovered that the increase in physical activity had only a minor effect on the calories-per-day and the energy used. What’s more, only those in poor or moderate shape showed significant changes in their calorie burning. The very fit saw almost no increase in the amount of energy expended despite the increase in activity.
What does this mean? Sadly, it means losing weight and burning fat is going to be a bit harder than you might think!
As you can see, the human body can only expend so much energy per day before it begins to shut down. The body is designed to STORE energy (as fat), and burning it is much harder than you’d think. Just because you push yourself harder, that doesn’t mean you’ll burn more calories in the long run. There may be a short-term increase in calorie burning, but your body will adjust to make up for the deficit.
What this means is that you need to combine a healthy diet and lifestyle with your exercise program. Knowing that you can only BURN so many calories per day, you’ll need to reduce your calorie intake in order to force your body to activate more of the fat it has stored around your frame. In order to lose weight, it’s going to take a lot more than just exercise. In fact, just doing exercise will make it even harder to lose weight, as your body will increase its demand for calories, causing you to feel hungry more often.
Another takeaway: don’t waste all your time working out! Unless you are a professional-level athlete, you don’t need more than 60 to 90 minutes of exercise per day. With that amount of time, you can fit in a solid resistance training workout, get in some HIIT cardio, perform some stretching exercises, and give your core some attention. With just that small chunk of time, you’ll have enough to keep your metabolism working well, and you’ll get your body accustomed to burning more calories.
After that, it’s up to you to stick to a healthy, controlled diet. This means limiting the amount of carbs you eat, controlling your healthy fat intake, and eating a lot of fruits, veggies, legumes, fish, and protein. Try to avoid excessive alcohol intake (no more than 1 drink per day), and quit smoking. Reduce stress as much as possible, and take time to relax. This will help you to have a healthy life, and will ensure that you can burn fat. There are a max calories per day you can burn through exercise, so you have to make up for it with your diet and lifestyle.