Why exercise may not be near as important for weight loss…

Being the researcher you all know I am, and continuing along the lines of recent discoveries I’ve made, I recently came across this interesting video on YouTube:

Weight loss and exercise It’s less than 5 minutes long and worth every second!

In this video they talk about our resting, aka basal, metabolic rate which is the calories burned to keep us alive each day. This means just breathing, doing nothing, in a neutral temperate environment (neither too hot, nor too cold) and not in the process of digesting food. Important note, this by no means indicates that exercise is not necessary in our lives. Regular exercise does help keep us healthy and to live longer. This blog is about exercise and weight loss.

Our resting metabolic rate accounts for the majority of our calories burned, over which we have very little control. A good portion of our calories burned each day also goes to food breakdown. The rest of the calories burned, about 10-30%, goes to energy for physical activity. So that means that although 100% of our calories in each day are under our control, only about 30% of calories out are under our control. The old adage that weight loss is as simple as calories in versus calories out, no longer applies. Anyone who tells you that weight loss is that simple is not up on current research. If you’ve been reading my blogs about body shape types (part 1part 2) or my page on Breaking Free From Emotional Eating program, then you know that weight loss is most definitely not just about calories!

There’s also evidence of two other possible reasons why exercise doesn’t work for weight loss. 1) People tend to get hungry after working out and thus many eat more than they would if they had not exercised, and 2) people sometimes slow down, meaning are less active or move slower in other activities after exercise. It’s called “compensatory behaviour” and it’s one of the ways we unknowingly undermine our workouts.

The video states that research has also discovered something called “metabolic compensation”, as people start to slim down their resting metabolism can slow down so the amount of energy you burn at rest is lower (remember this is the part where most of the calories are burned and you have little control over).

It takes so much energy via physical activity to burn off some of the food choices we make that most people get discouraged, don’t have the time, might eat more because the exercise made them hungry, that it’s best to moderate your food intake rather than try to adjust the impact of overeating by vigorous exercise. Some quick examples of how long it takes to burn off some food choices: 60 min of running to burn off a burger & fries, 60 mins of vigorous dancing to burn off a few glasses of wine you had at dinner, 60 mins of intense bicycling to burn off 2 donuts! If you eat more than one of those types of food (or overeat in general) all in one day, you could spend 3-4 of your waking hours exercising! This is why I pay no attention to the calories (supposedly) burned that I see on exercise machines at the gym, I find it way too discouraging. Additionally, all that exercise is shown to be injury causing, disease causing (possibly – the science is still young), and stress causing.

If you’ve ever heard that weight management (loss, gain, maintenance) is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, now you know why. A clean whole foods, unprocessed, preservative free (or at least minimal preservatives) diet appropriate for each individual is the way to weight control! What’s more, the belief that “I can eat what I want and/or how much I want and not gain weight if I exercise enough” is also a falsehood. You may not gain weight (that’s a big maybe) if you do tons of exercise, but if you’re eating a processed, sugar filled (have you read food labels lately?), high carbohydrate, chemical heavy diet, then you’re not healthy, and won’t remain that way over the long term either. Overeating of a healthy diet is not good either. Too much of healthy whole foods is still too much.

It’s not impossible to lose weight with exercise but it’s a lot harder. If you go to the gym and use a significant amount of your valuable time and put in considerable effort to burn off calories, you can erase all of that in 5 mins by eating a slice of pizza! Seems a whole lot easier and much more effective to eat a moderate intake of clean whole foods, with an occasional/rare indulgence; and use exercise for the immediate and long term health benefits.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND SUCCESS!!

It’s Dec. 22nd and for those of you who acknowledge and/or celebrate Christmas in some way, that means it’s only 3 days until the big day! 3 days until the birth of Jesus (if that’s your belief), 3 days until Santa Claus comes (if that’s your belief), 3 days until a day full of love and giving and family (chosen or blood), 3 days until you eat so much awesome food you think you might bust! 

Or for some people it is a day of being alone, either chosen or not. For others it is just a regular day. Still for others it may be a day in the beginning, middle or end of other celebrations like Hanukkah. There is also other celebrations that I am not as familiar with such as Kwanzaa.

My whole point being, whatever you do or do not recognize or celebrate at this time of year, I hope the season brings you love, happiness, peace and continued success.

Speaking of success, I recently ran some ads on Craigslist for Stop Smoking and New Years Resolution Success (most people set New Yrs resolutions that they want to begin Jan. 1st), and I’ve already had several clients go through the Stop Smoking Hypnosis sessions. It’s been a great experience for me, and the comments and reactions from clients have ranged from stunned to “Wow!” as they walk out the door knowing they are now a non-smoker!

The Stop Smoking Hypnosis is a two session protocol and I do those sessions pro-bono. This gives me experience and allows me to give back to the community at the same time. A philosophy that is important to me. I will continue offering those sessions all the time, but if someone you know or you yourself are looking to stop smoking as their/your New Years Resolution please contact me at nourishment3@gmail.com or 778-985-8807.

The New Years Resolution Success is also a 2 session protocol for a Seasonal Special rate of $120 (valued up to $395). This special will run until January 17th – meaning at least one of the appointments must be booked by that date. The appt may happen after that date but you must book it by the 17th.

We all know New Years Resolutions are made with the full intent to be successful. We may want to lose weight, stop smoking, develop healthier habits, succeed in business, etc and yet quite often we find within only a couple of weeks of setting these goals/resolutions we are back to where we started from and feeling like a failure.

Why not give yourself the gift of success? Create that success by changing your mind, by setting those intentions deep into your subconscious mind with the aid of hypnosis!

Willpower which happens in the conscious mind won’t be enough, if it was then we would all be successful all the time at whatever we decided we were going to do. Real change, real success takes place when positive suggestions are accepted into/by the subconscious mind and the change happens like changing the programming on your computer. Once new programming is installed and accepted by a computer, the computer has to operate with that new programming. Your subconscious mind works the same way. 

NewYearsResolutions 1 7657

 

Again my contact info for hypnosis or nutritional consultations is nourishment3@gmail.com or 778-985-8807.

 

Wishing all of you, my lovely followers, a wonderful Holiday Season, success in the New Year (whatever success you are looking for) and health, wellness and happiness always!! 

 

8%

Only 8% of people keep there new years resolutions! Are you one of that 8%? 

I already talked about using the SMART acronym in an earlier blog (https://nourishment3.com/2014/01/01/2014/) to help you reach your goals. So today my blog is more specific. It’s some tips to help you keep that number one (most common) new years resolution: To eat healthy and/or lose weight.

1. Instead of doing a radical diet overhaul that will make you feel overwhelmed, try just changing one meal a day, but everyday. For example, instead of your egg and cheese sandwich or bagel for breakfast that you had every day last year, try fruit, oatmeal or a green smoothie in the morning. Changing just part of your day will influence other decisions you make about eating and this could be the start to making everlasting changes.

2. Don’t just say you are going to “exercise more” or “get fit” – Do something every single day that will lead to that result. Develop a habit, routine and schedule it in your day. Everyone should devote and schedule at least 1 hour a day for wellness- it does not have to be one solid 60 minute block of time, break it up if you have to. Before work, during a lunch break, or right after work are often great times for this. If you do this at the same time everyday, your body and mind will adapt and it will become easier for you to create a new habit. Focus less on the end result and more the habit forming activity that you like doing. << That is so very important!

3.  Don’t set weight loss goals. Focus less on weight and more on getting healthier for life. If you are drinking or eating things you shouldn’t – linked to obesity, cancer, etc, try replacing those foods with something better. For example, try replacing soda with sparkling water or your artificially colored and flavored chips with baked homemade ones. Also, you could replace the artificial sweetener in your coffee with organic stevia extract or coconut palm sugar. You don’t have to deprive yourself if you make better choices. Also follow the 80/20 rule (or 90/10 if you like a bit more structure)- 80% of the time you eat well and make those healthy choices, 20% of the time you’re more flexible on your choices. That doesn’t mean that 20% of the time you let go of all the great choices you’ve been making, it just means you bend a little on those choices.

4. Don’t give up carbs. Going without carbs for life is just crazy and not sustainable – could you imagine not being able to eat a piece of cake ever again? Try going for the best carbs available instead- Quinoa over rice, sprouted wheat instead on white bread.

Instead of a crash or liquid diet, add one organic green drink a day before breakfast or dinner. Chlorophyll rich foods like spinach, kale, and collards blended with fruit or juiced can alleviate cravings because they provide a burst of nutrition that the typical diet doesn’t get. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings continue which lead to weight gain.

Instead of going all out vegan or vegetarian which is hard to do cold turkey, vow to only eat meat that you know the source of and that is not factory farmed. Go vegetarian one day a week, and when that becomes a habit, add a second day. You can add more and become a full vegetarian/vegan or stop when it feels right for you and your lifestyle. When you go to a restaurant to eat, ask about the meat, if they don’t have a sustainable option available go for a vegetarian option. Just make better choices as often as possible.

5. When all else fails…. try one of these habits below to start and see if you can make them stick!

Drink warm water with lemon every morning (warm as in room temperature)
Ditch refined sugar
Drink a green drink every single day
Change where you shop

More importantly…don’t give up! Take it one step, one change at a time. If one isn’t working, try something else! Take small steps if something seems too big or overwhelming. Small steps are still steps in the right direction, you are still moving towards your goals. You don’t have to, nor should you worry about, taking the same or same size steps as anyone else. You are uniquely you…do what works for you! 

Exercise: The News You Don’t Want to Hear!

This article from Dr. Jonny Bowden is fantastic for explaining why we should exercise and why we should change our thinking about some of its proposed benefits. Most people know that daily exercise is very important to a healthy lifestyle, as is nutrition. The important facts to remember are there, but thinking it is the be all and end all to weight loss is old thinking. Here’s a link to the article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jonny-bowden/exercise-benefits_b_1777630.html , but I have copied it below for you. I had to do this blog today after working out with my trainer and doing my own high intensity circuit. What a fantastic workout!!

“My mentor, the late great nutritionist Robert Crayhon, used to say this: “The two great dangers with nutrition are thinking it does too much, and thinking it does too little.”

The same can be said of exercise.

This article is about exercise. And about weight loss. And about the relationship between the two. Which, sad to say, is probably a very different relationship than you might think.

Now before we get started, a disclaimer. I exercise regularly. I think you should too, no matter who you are. I think exercise is the greatest anti-aging activity on the planet. And the data are clear: Exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, and reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. It can even grow new brain cells.

What it can’t do is cause you to lose weight.

(I told you this was news you didn’t want to hear.)

In a new book called The Cure For Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness, Timothy Caulfield summarizes the data on fitness and exercise, and takes apart some of the common myths associated it. And the news ain’t good.

Although the benefits of exercise are legion and well-documented, the fact is that most people exercise for vanity reasons, not primarily for health. Weight control and looks top the list of every client I ever worked with back in the days when I was a trainer at Equinox, and they continue to top the goal list of gym members everywhere. (Sure, everyone gives lip service to heart health, but most people secretly just want six-packs.) So here — in Caulfield’s terms — is “a crummy dose of reality”: It’s horribly difficult to seriously change the way you look through exercise alone.

Sure, there are tons of exceptions, and you’ll see them in “before” and “after” pictures in dozens of infomercials and print ads for weight-loss products, though the fine print always says “results not typical.” And that’s precisely the point — those results are very far from typical.

For every person who managed to make the annual weight-loss issue of People magazine, for every healthy guy smilingly holding up an old pair of pants twice the size of Cleveland, for every 100-pound-lighter winner of The Biggest Loser, there are thousands more who lose, regain, lose, regain, give up and essentially look the same year in and year out.

If exercising alone could produce weight loss, we’d be a whole lot skinnier as a nation and those “success” stories would be far more common.

In general, and in the long run, as Caulfield notes, “The data simply does not support the use of exercise as a primary tool for getting thin.” Here’s Caulfield quoting Todd Miller, professor in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington University: “People don’t understand that it is very difficult to exercise enough to lose weight. If that is why you are doing it, you are going to fail”.

The idea that exercise causes weight loss is firmly embedded in our national consciousness, and is accepted as a basic truth even by people who don’t exercise. One reason is the widely-accepted theory that weight loss is all about calories.

According to the theory, weight loss is all about calories in, calories out. (There are more than a few problems with this hugely out-of-date oversimplification, but let’s just go with it for a minute.) Since exercise burns calories, it stands to reason that all things being equal, exercise should cause weight loss. After all, if you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight, and since you burn “a ton” of calories during exercise, the pounds should just melt off.

Good luck with that.

For one thing, you don’t burn a ton of calories during exercise, unless you’re Michael Phelps. Fact is, you only burn about 300 calories a half-hour, if that — a calorie “deficit” that is almost immediately wiped out by a couple of Gatorades, let alone one mocha low-fat latte or a “low-fat bran muffin.” (Don’t believe for a minute the calorie readouts on the exercise machines at your gym — those manufacturers have an interest in overstating the calorie number, making you think you’re burning a ton of calories by using their devices.)

Problem number two is the phrase “all things being equal.” They’re not. The calorie math works great if you eat the same amount of food but increase the number of calories you “burn,” creating a calorie deficit. But most people don’t. Mounting evidence suggests that exercise makes us hungryand that we wind up eating more extra calories in response to that hunger than we “burn up” doing the exercise that made us hungry in the first place.

Caulfield calls out those among us — you know who you are, my friends — who are fond of saying things like “I work out so I can eat what I want.” Umm… not so much. As trainers are fond of saying, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Knocking out 300-600 calories on the stairclimber doesn’t begin to “compensate” for a supersized fries and a medium shake, nor even the most modest dish at El Torito or Olive Garden. So sure, working out may allow you to “eat whatever you want” if whatever you want to eat is limited to meat and broccoli. But if you think that hour in aerobics class bought you a free pass at the all-you-can-eat pasta station at the Bellagio buffet, you’re delusional.

But exercise does have a relationship to weight — it’s just not as perfect a relationship as most of us would like. While exercise by itself is fairly useless for losing weight, it appears to be critical to keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it. But to do that, you may have to work harder or longer than you thought.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed the exercise habits of over 34,000 women and concluded that it took about an hour a day of moderate (3 mph walking) exercising to maintain weight. This research supports the findings of the National Weight Control Registry, which reports that 90 percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off exercise on average for an hour a day.

Now that sounds like a lot. But remember that nearly all of this research focuses on moderate-intensity exercise like walking. And walking is fine — for all the health benefits mentioned above — but it’s pretty inefficient for weight loss.

A much better and more efficient way to exercise — and one that research is clearly showing works a lot better — is to do high-intensity circuit training. Put the beauty bells down and lift some iron. Shorten your rest periods. If you’re doing “aerobics,” do some interval training where you sprint for a while then jog to catch your breath.

And by the way, forget about “toning.” It doesn’t exist. You’re either building muscle, maintainingthe muscle you already have, or your muscles are slowly shrinking. The first two are accomplished with weight that’s heavy to lift. The third is accomplished by doing nothing.

Please understand: No one believes in exercise more than I do. But trying to lose weight with exercise alone — particularly the long, slow, arduous and generally not-fun method of running mindlessly on a treadmill — is a doomed strategy if your goal is to lose body fat.

Here’s a much better strategy:

One: Revamp your diet, concentrating on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates — particularly sugar, soft drinks and starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cereals and crackers — drive levels of insulin, your “fat storage” hormone, through the roof, which makes it brutally hard to lose body fat. Eat more protein and fat, get your carbs from vegetables and fruits, and eat less of everything.

Two: Exercise regularly, but exercise smart. Increase the intensity and shorten the time. Circuit and interval training are the modalities that have trainers and exercise physiologists the most excited these days when it comes to both health benefits and fat burning. Pay attention — they’re right!

Three: Recognize that fitness and six-pack abs aren’t the same thing. Exercise for fitness and for health, and to maintain your gains. But don’t expect your morning walk to transform your body, especially if you don’t take serious aim at your diet.

Eric Ravussin, professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. and an expert on weight loss, put it best: “In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss.”

But — as Robert Crayhon would have reminded us — that hardly means it’s useless for anything.”