Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Sunday, June 6, 2010

To Lose Weight: First Reduce Calorie Intake, Then Exercise To Maintain

Research indicates that vigorous exercise is NOT the way to start the process of weight loss, although it’s essential later on.
Rather, weight loss must be primarily due to better control of diet, in particular volume. Calories In (Volume) must be less than Calories Out (Daily Effort) for an extended period of time to move your body to your desired weight level.
“The body aims for homeostasis,” or current equilibrium, says expert Barry Braun. It wants to remain at the weight level it is used to, especially for women because of their child-bearing health needs. If all you do is exercise to create weight loss, the body will immediately kick in with appetite-increasing hormones so that you eat enough to get back to the current equilibrium.
This is where it gets interesting. First, eat fewer calories to drive your weight reduction. Then, exercise regularly! The exercise helps re-establish the homeostatic steady state at the new level! (Study after study shows this, although there’s not yet a clear explanation as to why.)
Here’s the bonus: You can eventually return to your previously normal caloric intake ... or at least eat more than you needed to in order to lose the weight. The exercise maintains the new homeostasis level for you, just as it maintained the old one.
And it doesn’t have to be “vigorous” exercise. Research indicates that enough low level activity (walking, etc.) can be sufficient.
So, what is “vigorous exercise” needed for: Well, for the aerobic benefits ... bringing in higher oxygen levels that create greater energy and thinking capability (oxygen blood cells to the muscles and to the brain)!
Tip: If you drink a glass of water before every meal, you're less likely to over-eat.
Source: Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times Magazine, April 11, 2010.

Among Biggest Health Mistakes
• Working out simply to burn calories. What matters more is exercise intensity. Vigorous exercise dulls your appetite, while moderate exercise stimulates it. That's the difference between a walk and a jog/walk.
• Keeping eating until you go to bed. Make a hard-and-fast rule: No eating within two hours of bedtime.
Source: Bob Greene.

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