Something to consider when it comes to weight loss

I used to think that weight loss/gain was a simple matter of calories in vs calories out, but the more I read, the more I get the impression that it’s not quite as simple as that.

Here is an idea that might throw a spanner in the works…


This stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (also known as afterburn or oxygen deficit) and can cause a continued calorie burn even after the exercise session has finished. It is basically continued energy use, needed to restore the body to its normal state.

There is some debate about the effects of this phenomenon but there seems to be a consensus that you get more afterburn from high intensity activities (this is the rowing machine for me) or resistance training (another name for lifting weights, although cranking the actual resistance all the way up on the elliptical machine/cross trainer should do it).

Admittedly, the science behind nutrition and exercise should be taken with a pinch of salt (no pun intended) at all times. We have seen complete u-turns in the wisdom over the years, perhaps most notably on sugar vs fat. But I try to respond to this by pursuing a variety of different approaches, just in case. (I’m pretty much hedging my bets.)

And to use another seasoning metaphor, variety is the spice of life, so if you are the type who likes to maintain steady-state cardio for an hour, why not mix it up with something a bit more intense?

If nothing else, rocking out to your favourite upbeat tune and running, cycling or rowing as fast as you possibly can for a minute or two at a time is a lot of fun, as is the sense of satisfaction and power that comes from lifting heavy objects whilst blasting a good hip-hop track.

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I love running, but don't always train in the way that I should. I started my blog in between my first successful completion of a marathon (although I wrote the first post a few days prior to that) and my first ultra marathon, which was the first half of the 100k "Race to the Stones". Maybe part of my reason was to publicly call myself out on my own stated goals. I chose the name "half arsed runner" because I wanted to show that my motivation levels are far from perfect, and that it's OK to be human.

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