Cheap calories are so tempting, and because we allow ourselves to be tempted too often, we are now dealing with an obesity epidemic. While not everyone who eats too much cheap calories becomes obese, obesity is associated with extra calories.
Unfortunately, obesity comes with an increased risk of fatal heart disease and life-threatening chronic illness. What do we need to know to make smarter choices for our health?
The truth about weight loss and weight gain
Most programs on weight management here in Orem include talks about metabolism and metabolic rate. It is now vital to understand these concepts because of the rampant spread of misinformation. Aside from these topics, it is now necessary to clarify existing ideas about exercise and weight loss.
With the availability of research results, we don’t have to spend excessive amounts on exercise equipment or programs that are, in fact, not helping reach our target weight.
Metabolism in a nutshell
Some people blame a slow metabolic rate for their condition and give up on making healthier choices. After all, they are genetically endowed with cells that burn fat at a slower pace. It is true, we cannot do much to change the basal metabolic rate.
Even with exercising for a few minutes every day, or avoiding certain foods, basal metabolism stays pretty much a particular range. Yet, we must rely on the science, which states that the body’s energy balance is a dynamic system that adapts to behaviors and environments.
The number of calories cells use up depends not only on the basal metabolic rate but also on the alterations we make. Watching calories and adding physical activity – along with other healthy choices we make elicit a cascade of changes.
The body’s metabolism changes with the demands of the activities we engage in daily.
Not exercise alone
It must be confusing for people who are relying on what they know and read about exercise to see little to no change on the weighing scale. Despite their efforts, their body weight remains pretty much on the same figure. Studies have confirmed that exercising is not enough.
In fact, exercising alone will not lead to significant weight loss. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise accounts for only about 10 to 30% of the energy expenditure required by the body. Unless you are a professional athlete, you’re not going to lose weight by exercise alone.
A model recently created by the NIH shows that significant weight loss is not a direct effect of a regular exercise program.
You are what you eat
Recent findings and observations support the idea that what we choose to eat has led us astray. Go on and blame cheap calories. It makes sense since food intake is about 100% of the body’s energy intake. Yet, this does not mean you can’t deep fry chicken or enjoy a glass of full cream milk once in a while.
It all comes down to keeping track of the calories you ingest.
Here’s a tip on how to start anew. Determine your daily calorie needs, taking into account your sex, age and level of physical activity. Watch what you eat. Stay active. If you don’t want to be obese, the calories your body burns must always be more than the calories you eat with foods and beverages.