On BioScience and Life and Such

Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

A couple of more things we didn’t communicate that well

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

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I am putting together a list of things lost in translation between science and the public. The full list is compiled here.

Following a couple of discussions on friendfeed on exercise and dieting, I’ve come across two more items, they are:

9. Any kind of exercise will help you lose weight (When the truth is that the exercise needs to be extensive and the right type, if weight loss is to be expected).

10. Carbohydrates and fat are bad for you (When the truth is that we need a balanced diet containing both fat and carbohydrates).



Too much of anything – even a good thing – is bad. So is too little. – That goes for lack of exercise, but it also goes for too much/wrong exercise. Too much carbohydrates- bad, too little – also bad. Too little vitamins – bad, too much vitamins – also bad.

Balance on the other hand is what results in healthy living. Balance: – in exercise and rest – and in nutrients.

This has been known for centuries. And, it’s proven by science. Contrary to what many may think, life science is seldom about labeling something “good” or “bad”. Rather, it’s about trying to find what makes the right balance.

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Here’s why I get fat when I exercise (part II)

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm

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WEIFANG, CHINA - JULY 24:  An overweight stude...
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The last couple of months I have lost about 8 kg


Previously, I had unsuccessfully been trying to lose weight by exercising more (Previous posts on this subject: “I get fat when I exercise, is that normal ?“, “Huge or tiny, either way I am being tricked“, “It’s the thinking that makes you fat stupid” and “Here’s why I get fat when I exercise“).

So this time I decided just to eat less. Not a different diet, just less of the same, and every other day I would skip a meal (lunch or dinner).

The new strategy worked like a charm, and I was planning on blogging my dieting results when I reached the 10 kg mark. But, then I read a veritable bashing of this TIME Magazine piece on how exercise does not necessarily help you lose fat. The criticism of this article I found very unfair. After all TIME was only telling us to put less faith in exercise as a dieting tool, – that’s fair enough isn’t it ? Besides, the points made in the article fit very well with my own experiences. Then a discussion on friendfeed followed, which I found very useful.

The TIME piece probably jumps to conclusions. The study he comments on does not support the conclusion that exercise makes you put on weight. Also the extrapolation of conclusions on adults based on data from studies on children may not hold water. However, the message that the TIME article conveys: the amount of exercise most people regard as sufficient to lose weight may act to the contrary, still hold true.

Looks like the consenus from the discussion is that exercise can help you lose weight, but it needs to be extensive (more than one hour more than 5 days a week) and it needs to be the right excersise (altough I believe the jury is still out on the effect of low-intensity exercise).

So, I’ll keep on skipping lunch and generally eat less, until I for some strange reason, should get enough time on my hands to prioritize 1-2 hours of exercise every day.

Downside is that I feel hungry a lot. Upside is that this may just possibly help me live longer.

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