Monday, August 10, 2009

Yes, We're Back, But Here's Something Interesting

We're back from our Disney vacation (more on that later) and I'm back to my internet stumbling. I ran across an article on the Time website about diet and exercise with a novel slant. Researchers are finding that people who exercise don't necessarily lose weight! There are a few caveats, of course; the writer isn't saying stop exercising since it has significant health benefits other than weight loss, but they are rethinking the recommendations about using it as a weight loss tool. It seems that people who exercise more also wind up eating more calories than they burn off, which defeats the purpose. The type of exercise is also seen as a factor; the x-number-of-times-at-the-gym per week thing is less effective than having a generally active lifestyle. The article discussed several research studies, among them one where the test subjects in one group worked out and the subjects in another group didn't. The researchers found that the exercisers had their spurt of activity then spent the rest of the day chillin' and lazing around; the non-exercisers were more evenly active the whole day through, resulting in a net calorie expenditure that was about the same for both groups.Connect this with the recommendations of Dr. Perricone (I heard him once on a PBS special) who says you shouldn't exercise more than 40 minutes a day, 6 days per week, and my own personal success with walking 30 minutes (almost) daily, and I kind of agree with the article, with caveats. (After googling Dr. Perricone, I found an article that says he's pretty much a quack, and I have to admit his book was out there in terms of the supplements he recommends, but I think his ideas about exercise fall in line with the article in question so he might just be ahead of his time in that one respect.)

So, what does that mean? To me, it means that when you exercise you should do so with moderation and that you also have to be generally active throughout the rest of the day; take the stairs, park far from the building, etc. (Which is hard sometimes with fibromyalgia; I do the best I can!) Additionally, you have to be very careful about portion control. If exercising increases your appetite, then you have to really watch it and keep weighing and measuring for every meal. The combination of moderate exercise and eating wisely is what led to my weight loss. Continuing to walk, control portions, and make healthy food choices is what's keeping it off. (But we won't talk about what I ate at Disney World...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi There!! We get TIME delivered at home. I read this article too. I find that his theory is good if you are not closely following a meal plan. But just like you said, if you are exercising with a meal plan you can continue losing. The writer doesn't discuss healthy snacking at all, I was disappointed in his article overall. I feel like he skipped over some important information. Hope you are all having a great weekend!! See you Thursday!!