Get more out of exercise

Laura Williams

EXERCISE hit the headlines again last week: new research from Loughborough University found that it not only lowers levels of waistline-enemy ghrelin (an appetite-stimulating hormone), it also raises levels of peptide YY – one of the good guys that suppresses appetite. So if you’re looking to capitalise on the waistline benefits of exercise, here’s what you need to know:

Make sure you’re not over-fuelling for your workout. A small snack should be plenty to see you through the average workout. Hefty flapjacks and vats of sports drinks will invariably mean you’re ingesting way more cals than you’re burning off.

Don’t overestimate what you’ve burnt. A staggering study at the University of Ottawa found that walkers estimated they’d burnt an average of 800 calories... in fact they’d burnt around 200. To make matters worse, they later ate 350 calories based on that miscalculation! It’s actually better to “forget” you’ve exercised if you’re looking to lose weight – that way your exercise cals can go some way to helping you achieve the deficit required to drop a pound or two (3,500 cals = one pound of fat).

Exercise on empty. If you’re really serious about budging that spare tyre, try skipping the workout snack full stop. The combination of high adrenaline and low insulin makes for a favourable fat burning ratio. Research has found that intense exercise also prompts the body to release fatty acids to be used as energy in a similar way. Try exercising in this way first thing in the morning for best results.

Make mine an Americano. Pre-workout caffeine can allow you to burn up to 10 per cent more calories during your workout. It will also help to delay fatigue and boost performance, both of which have an indirect calorie effect – going harder for longer will always be better for the waistline.

Bloomberg Square Mile, which I wrote about last week, said of Sunday’s race: "Last night's relay was phenomenal - 1,150 entrants and an incredible atmosphere. And a great race too - Macquarie Bank came in first, 12 seconds ahead of Legal & General, who beat Barclays Capital by a single second". Bring on the next one!, @laurafitness