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Question
Posted by: Adel | 2009/12/22

home renovations vs exercise

Hi. I am a woman, aged 31. I just had 4 weeks of leave. During these 4 weeks I did renovations at my home. I find it strange that I did not loose any weight. I started working at 8:00 am and only stopped at 16:00. I either ate two slices of toast with jam in the morning or two boiled eggs. at 12:00 I had another slice of toast with jam. At night I had smaller portion dinner. I also cut out fizzy drinks and drank a lot of water. Should I not have lost at least some weight? I painted, removed carpets, scourced the wooden floors, varnished it, moved heavy furniture. My weight remained constant on 67kilos and I am 1.68m tall. I am so dissappointed that I did not loose any weight. I did think that this would be excellent exercise

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Our expert says:
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Hi Adel

Not necessarily, it's difficult know how much energy you'd have burned doing those home activities. Say you work for 8 hours, you might burn 3 kCal per minute (because you're not working 100% of the time, much of it is the same as sitting), on average (running burns about 15, for comparison's sake). That's 1200kCal in the day, give or take. During a normal day, at the office, you might burn 600 to 700 kCal. So the difference might be as small as 500kCal per day, which is not insignificant, of course, but does give you an indication that perhaps it's not that surprising.

With regards to the diet, I don't know how this compares to the normal diet when you are not doing home renovations. That would be important. Being around the house often makes eating easier, more convenient, the result being that sometimes we eat more when in fact we don't think we are.

Also, you're not overweight to begin with, and so there's a chance your body has already reached what it 'knows' to be its ideal weight. Losing weight beyond this is always a challenge.

The end result of all this is that this "balance" between energy in and energy out, which is of course what is require for weight loss, may not be tilted as far as one thinks. I'm just putting this out there to illustrate how easy it can be to remain weight-stable when you think you should lose weight. I am a little surprised that you didn't lose weight - I'd usually say that 7 times out of 10, someone would lose weight. But with diet, and with activity compared to other activity, the differences might not be that large.

Regards
Ross

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: 42 yrs old woman | 2009/12/23

Height 1.58. Body mass btw 45-49 kg. With that calories out, you shuold have lost some kgs. Personally, I loose some kgs after calories out on any physcal acitivity(cadiovascular), like car wash. Metabolism revved-up, I guess.

Reply to 42 yrs old woman
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2009/12/23

Hi Adel

Not necessarily, it's difficult know how much energy you'd have burned doing those home activities. Say you work for 8 hours, you might burn 3 kCal per minute (because you're not working 100% of the time, much of it is the same as sitting), on average (running burns about 15, for comparison's sake). That's 1200kCal in the day, give or take. During a normal day, at the office, you might burn 600 to 700 kCal. So the difference might be as small as 500kCal per day, which is not insignificant, of course, but does give you an indication that perhaps it's not that surprising.

With regards to the diet, I don't know how this compares to the normal diet when you are not doing home renovations. That would be important. Being around the house often makes eating easier, more convenient, the result being that sometimes we eat more when in fact we don't think we are.

Also, you're not overweight to begin with, and so there's a chance your body has already reached what it 'knows' to be its ideal weight. Losing weight beyond this is always a challenge.

The end result of all this is that this "balance" between energy in and energy out, which is of course what is require for weight loss, may not be tilted as far as one thinks. I'm just putting this out there to illustrate how easy it can be to remain weight-stable when you think you should lose weight. I am a little surprised that you didn't lose weight - I'd usually say that 7 times out of 10, someone would lose weight. But with diet, and with activity compared to other activity, the differences might not be that large.

Regards
Ross

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