If you're like me, you've spent much of the last month stuffing your face with Christmas cookies, cake and egg nog. And now you're looking to shed the 2, 5, 10 pounds you've packed in since Thanksgiving dinner rolled around. I've noticed the gym as packed as I've ever seen it over the last few days, and it reminded me of an article Time magazine published last August: "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin."
What's going on here? Church calls it compensation, but you and I might know it as the lip-licking anticipation of perfectly salted, golden-brown French fries after a hard trip to the gym. Whether because exercise made them hungry or because they wanted to reward themselves (or both), most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment. Or they compensated in another way, by moving around a lot less than usual after they got home.
So if you're looking to lose those pounds, focus on changing your diet. And if you stay conscious of not "compensating," hit the gym, too.