Ever wondered why, after a gruelling gym session, you're still not the svelte, toned version of yourself you might have envisioned? Well, you're not alone. A new study has found that plenty of us aren't seeing the desired result. It was discovered that one in four gym users actually gains weight as a result of working out.
The findings showed that of the 1,000 gym goers polled, 35% treated themselves to a snack or treat after exercise such as a chocolate bar (233 calories for a four finger Kit Kat), a glass of wine (190 calories) or a pint of lager (230 calories).
These small rewards might seem harmless in comparison to all those miles, crunches and squats you put in at the gym. However, the survey, conducted by diet firm Forza Supplements, found that it was precisely this 'feeling of complacency' that was to blame for increased calorific intake.
In turn this resulted in a staggering 26% of the gym users questioned revealing that their weight had increased. A further 49% admitted that their weight had stayed the same since starting exercise, while just 25% claimed they had lost any weight at all.
The study also asked, on average, how many calories gym users were burning during each session. Although most said they worked out for between 40 minutes and one hour, most only managed to shed around 300-400 calories during that time. A further 25% only managed 200-300 calories and 10% admitted to working off as few as 100-200 calories.
A spokesperson from the firm carrying out the survey put this into perspective: “To lose 1kg of body fat, you need to burn about 8,000 calories – that is around 80 miles of running to cover just 1kg in weight."
The study concluded that 53% of people had substantially larger appetites after exercise sessions, meaning gym users often do not stick to recommended calorie intake guidelines. So, if you're using high-calorie treats to reward yourself for working out, this could go some way to explain why you might be gaining the pounds you set out to lose.