Ways To A Healthier You!

Ways To A Healthier You!

For a long time, the weight loss mantra has been to eat less and exercise regularly and often, yet the epidemic of overweight and obesity not only continues but is growing. A provocative article in the Sunday, August 9 issue of Time entitled "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin" draws attention to a part of the mantra that may be in error: exercise may not really help achieve weight loss.

Let's begin with a bit of background information. Going right back to the fundamentals of weight loss, losing weight is a function of a calorie deficit. In other words, you must consume less calories than what you expend.

Your calorie intake is primarily a function of the foods that you consume. If you eat more calorie rich food, your daily calorie intake will increase.

One way to do this is to encourage exercise, which is known to benefit the cardiovascular system, reduce stress, improve mental status, and other overall health benefits. Therefore rather than the pressure to exercise vigorously to lose weight, which has not been successful for many people, the emphasis would be on preventing further weight gain, protecting any weight loss that has occurred, and promoting overall wellness.

A recent study from the University of Colorado Denver's School of Medicine reports that exercise helps prevent weight regain after people have had successful weight loss by reducing their appetite and burning fat before it burns carbohydrates. When the body burns fat first and stores carbohydrates for later use, this process slows weight gain and may limit the amount of overeating by sending messages to the brain that the stomach is full.

So does exercise really help with weight loss? For some people it may; for others, it may be the tool they can use to maintain any weight loss they have already achieved. It certainly has been proven that exercise, separate from helping people lose weight, offers many other crucial health benefits, and if only for that reason, people need to engage in regular, moderate exercise, including walking away from the refrigerator and the fast food restaurants and pushing away from the table.