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Weight Loss: Fact & Fiction

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The Weight and Fitness thread seems to have gone off in many different directions, so here's a brief summary of the most current research on exercise and weight loss.

First, take a look at the guidelines from The American College of Sports Medicine:


Be sure to click on the energy expenditure calculator, as well as the underlined section on fat loss. Also note that for obesity, the new guidelines suggest that 45 minutes most days of the week

The National Academy of Sports Medicine {My new certification! [img]smile.gif[/img] } takes this a step further. As your body adapts to a specific training modality, it requires less energy to perform the task. So cross training is extremely important.

Another very important concept is Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption {EPOC}
Simply put, this means that after exercise, the body continues to burn calories at an excelerated pace.

Now here's where things get a bit tricky. In the other thread, someone mentioned that lower intensity exercise burns more fat than high intensity.

Well, yes and no. While its true that a low intensity exercise can burn up to 60% more calories of fat, the problem is, depending on HOW LOW the intensity, you may burn significantly less calories.
In order to burn one pound of fat, you need to burn up 3500 calories, or eat 3500 calories less.
So if you are working at a very very low intensity, you need to have a considerble increase in duration.

And one more complication: EPOC is much higher after high intensity exercise.

But then

If someone has injuires, high intensity exercise may be hard on the muscular skeletal system.

So, things are never as simple as they seem!

An often overlooked topic in weight loss is strength training. Well developed muscles burn more calories at rest than undeveloped muscle. You don't need to be a body builder. But a muscular system that properly supports the skeletal system will make the body move more efficiently, which will in turn cause you to burn more calories.

You don't believe me? Watch the girls who only take step class, and work in really sloppy form! Notice how their bodies never change???

FOOD ISSUES: Although nothing has been really proven, there is a theory that some people have a systemic alergy to certain foods. A good way to test this theory out, is to be aware if you wake up 2 pounds heavier after eating a certain type of food the day before. Again, it also takes 3500 calories to GAIN a pound of fat. So in less you've really pigged out, try to figure out which foods are suspect. Some women are extremely sensitive to dairy products.

Once again, these ideas have not been proven.

One more note, and I've said this before. If you suddenly find yourself with no appetite, low energy, forgetful, sensitive to cold, insomnia, and gaining weight like crazy, get checked for hypothyroid.

That's it for now!

[ May 30, 2002, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #2 of 18
Thanks LM,

I made a copy of the link so I can print it out later.
post #3 of 18
FACT (Yes clinical trial was done):

LOW GI diet of identical calorie intake to HIGH GI diet will result in GREATER weight loss.
post #4 of 18
LM - the "allergy" thing is much more likely to be the reverse of this phenomenon....(From your link)
"An initial dramatic decrease in body weight, commonly seen with calorie restrictive diets, can be attributed to water weight loss directly related to depleted glycogen stores in the muscles in liver."

Oh - BTW folks thats muscles & liver...

ie sudden weight gain is usually due to increased fluid - this may be due to salt intake &/or glycogen stores... &/or other things(like hormones, intake of NSAIDS, concommitant medication....)
post #5 of 18
Nice post Lisamarie.

Haven't had a chance to read the article yet, but I am glad disski is keeping you on your toes.

My father has always encouraged me to learn/study more. He would say, "A license just gives you permission to start to learn."

I'm going to have to check on disski's comments.

Again, congrats!!
post #6 of 18
OK - this is from a friend you trains(cycling) with some institute of sport guys

"when you are unfit exercising at a rate below 60% of your maximum heart rate should burn around 85% fat 15% carbohydrates. when fitness improves the zone for fat burning can be increased if you train in the low heart zone for about 10 weeks and then do regular low heart rate training each week. low heart rate training teaches your body to search for fat as a primary source of fuel and after 10 weeks it searches for fat at a higher intensity levels also. once you enter high levels of intensity you burn just as much fat per hour but the ratio of fat to carbo is decreased to were at 90% of maximum you are burning about 15% fat to 85% carbohydrates. exercising at low heart rates doesn't make you hungry afterwards so you don't go home and eat the fridge, but exercising at higher heart rates does as it burns up stored carbohydrates and glycogen stores which must be replaced by eating food. "

Sort of matches with what we are taught- some bits I'm not too sure about - I can go looking for some references for you after our ski season finishes if you want - too busy now.
post #7 of 18
Also note the following page (if you go back a level & look inthe health professionals section there are a heap of references)
Note the suggestion to doexercise in 3 x 10 minutes if needed - this was added fairly recently because so many people seem unable to find a single larger block - also because it was found to not be unacceptable. It is now being promoted as a strategy - do all the small things & they will add up.
I prefer the 45 min walk I go for in the morning -but that doesn't suit everyone

heart foundation

Also the Australian Institute of Sport has a nice page on why swimmers don't lose body fat - no time to check now but a web search should find it easily. So use swimming for fitness not weight loss.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here's the link to the Sydney Glycemic Index page:

Putting 2 links in one reply is usually not cool, especially when people sometimes read these threads when they're at, er work.

BTW, I am relatively silent on nutrition and supplement issues. Its sort of illegal for fitness pros to discuss this. Complicated story, can't get into it.

Exercise intensity. If you find that you are working so hard that you are way above your target heart range, plus, you are constantly hungry, you are working anaerobically. especially if you crave sugar.

Problem is, many have taken the low instensity burns fat thing to a point so low that the exercise is insignificant.
post #9 of 18

Would a five mile run at 800 calories per mile shed a pound?

If I didn't eat a thing.

If so, I have lots of miles left in me!

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, ya see, there's a bit of a problem! No matter how much of a super athlete you are, its virtually impossible to burn up 800 calories in one mile!

But you jest, I'm sure.

The swimming thing: One of the many problems is that the more body fat you have, the more you float, which in turn means you are exerting less energy.

But the most important thing about any of this weight loss or fitness stuff, is DO NOT OVER SIMPLIFY!

There are many factors to be considered, that never get written up in the popular fitness magazines where most of the general public gets their information.

First, and I've said this before, is genetics. Choose your parents well, so that you can inherit those "designer genes"! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
Two of the most exquisite personal trainers in Boston have a diet that would make even the worst junk food addict absolutely naseous!
Go figure!

Then, there's the issue of different types of fat. There's alpha receptor fat, that gathers around the hip and thigh. Its caused by female hormone.

The bad news: It is NOT very receptive to aerobic exercise.

The good news: It does not pose any SERIOUS health risks.

Beta receptor fat is caused by male hormone. It gathers around the waist and belly. Now the good news, is that beta receptor fat is very receptive to aerobic exercise.

The bad news, is that fat accumulations around the belly can lead to diabetes and heart disease.

In terms of the low versus high intensity exercise, once again you need to be careful about over simplification. Take, for example, the overweigh Jazzercise instructor. She was performing high impact aerobics, nut her incredibly poor form would lower the intensity of the exercise.

But its not just about what you do in a single workout, its about lifestyle. I am always amazed that people move to rural environments because they are healthier, but then need to rely on their cars for everything! :

When I worked at the fitness center in the World Trade Center, I saw people lose considerable amount of weight when they began walking from their homes in the midtown area, to and from work.

Also, one of the worst things you can do, is go to dinner, right next to where you will be going to a movie, shotly afterwards.

In my younger years, I went to school one summer in Perugia, Italy. After dinner every night, Italians engage in Passegiata {Help Matteo, I forgot the spelling!}
Pasta and all, people looked pretty slim!
post #11 of 18
You mean I have to run more than 5 miles/ pound !!??

We humans are just too efficient.

Heck, I bet I could go a mile on a slice of white bread with no butter!

Thanks for the real stuff on this issue. I am most glad to hear that the "male fat" responds to treatment.

I think I may go treat it to an ice cream!

post #12 of 18
Originally posted by KeeTov:

Haven't had a chance to read the article yet, but I am glad disski is keeping you on your toes.

My father has always encouraged me to learn/study more. He would say, "A license just gives you permission to start learning."

Again, congrats!!
Geez, if she were any more on her toes she'd be dancing pointe! And I believe she has been this way long before disski came to this board. Sometimes LM needs to STOP learning so much and just enjoy.

BTW, congrats? Why?

[ May 31, 2002, 07:24 PM: Message edited by: Bethany ]
post #13 of 18
Here is a link about the low intensity exercise confusion.

And another one about the Glycemic index myth.


Glad to see that Lisamarie posts objective information in this forum. Thanks for not spamming us with every diet and fitness craze out there!
post #14 of 18
Oh yeah - the last one is GREAT - GI of carrots is WRONG for a start
post #15 of 18
Don't forget about drinking water, even if Peter Jennings just had to do a show debunking the 8 glasses of water myth. Its hard enough to get some people to drink any at all. Now they'll think its really not important because hey, it was on the news, wasnt it? :
post #16 of 18
IMHO the key to exercise and weight loss is having a lactic threshold test done. It has been a big help to me. I have shed thirty pounds on the way to losing forty pounds. 9% body fat here I come!
post #17 of 18
Yep - our swimmers (at sports institutes) are contantly having a bevy of tests done.
The results are stored in computers - as are their times etc.

Helps adjust their training.
post #18 of 18
Another super article from OUTSIDE magazine
Rubbish. NM
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