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Posts Tagged ‘Physical exercise’

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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The last couple of months I have lost about 8 kg

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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‚Äôs 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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Here’s why I get fat when I exercise

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2008 at 9:03 pm


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In an attempt to probe deeper into my ongoing exercise/obesity confusion, I have read three papers (1,2,3)¬† that illuminated the issue to some extent. And the answer is, not surprisingly: I’m not exercising enough.

It turns out that you need something like 225 to 275 minutes of weekly exercise to loose 5-10 % of your body weight over 16-24 months. Which means exercising a minimum of 45 minutes a day 5 days a week over a long period of time to achieve……in my case, – not that much. Which again translates into: not bloody likely to happen. Or as stated more elegantly in Donnelly JE et al.:

Application of the results from the present study to the general population will require considerable help from behavioral scientists to encourage adoption and adherence to a long-term exercise program that becomes part of an individual’s lifestyle and can be maintained indefinitely.

The intensity of the training does not seem to matter too much. Any hint of comfort in that however, is swept away by the fact that the rather unimpressive 5 % weight loss from 45 minute exercise pr. day was achieved by young people, ….- I’m not that young anymore and that’s a big chunk of the problem at hand…..

Relentlessly, I will keep exercising of course. There are after all so many other benefits to it. Plus, the exercise I do is fun and inspiring. The conclusion therefore still is: exercise helps, – even if it does so mostly as in “exercise restraint” (when it comes to food intake).

That’s it, it took me 4 blog posts to reach the conclusions I started out with in the first place:

1) Less food = desired weight loss

2) Exercise not essential to loose weight.

And then one would think I am all done on this subject.

But alas no, there’s more to it, – plenty more. Have a look at this “Obesity System Influence Diagram” (Thank you Laura for pointing me here through friendfeed):

Sometimes knowledge it seems, is just confusing. The only reasonable conclusion from this diagram is that the interplay between factors contributing to obesity is extremely complex.

It’s tempting to leave it at that, – it’s all just very complex, let’s move on. But, instead I’ll try and take this as a challenge: Plenty more posts to come…..perhaps on aging and obesity, – seems like a natural next step.

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