According to a new study in the United Kingdom, you might underestimate the “food reward” an exercise earns you, as did the majority of the volunteers participating. Health and weight issues due to fast food and limited exercising are currently on the front pages, yet an experiment conducted has provided some, albeit biased, answers.
A number of 50 adults and 49 adolescents gathered for the study, all who regularly practiced sports, such as rugby, swimming, hockey and badminton, were monitored and surveyed after an hour of physical activity. The purpose of the study was to ascertain how well people can understand how many calories they consume and how many can they eat in order to compensate for the loss.
Unsurprisingly, most were unable to accurately tell, but shockingly, most went for the lower end of the spectrum. The participants either underestimated how much calories their exercise burned or overestimated how much their food contained, both by half. It left most of them with an actual deficiency in calories that would provide beneficial for those attempting to lose weight.
So, essentially, their estimations were wrong, but it was the good kind of wrong.
After an hour of their chosen physical activities, participants were faced with 30 cubes of chocolate and bottles of sports drinks (either half filled, full or four full bottles), and were asked how much they needed to consume in order to balance out the calories they had just lost.
Naturally though, every sport burns a different amount of calories and the results for something such as cycling, with an average of 600 calories burnt, would different from running, which would consume around 800 calories per hour.
On average though, the amount of energy they consumed during the hour physical activities was underestimated by around 500 calories.
For example, a rugby player who had just burnt 700 calories would have gained only 330 calories back through chocolate and 140 via sports drink, according to senior author Craig Williams of Children’s Health and Exercise Research Center.
However, while the results might seem encouraging, most participants would have very likely ate much more than claimed and many have admitted that their “reward” would have been more substantial. It’s possible that the volunteers anticipated what the researchers wanted to hear and thus claimed they would have consumed less calories than in actual truth.
The study concludes that while it’s not the most important thing to fixate on a precise number of calories, that people should become more aware of what they’re eating and how much. Even common fast-foods such as pizza and fries are still a mystery for most on how many calories they intake with every slice or how long should they be running to cut them down.
Image source: stuff.co.nz