Exercise and Healthy eating for weight loss

It is deeply saddening to me as I look around my new world in Jakarta, as I did in my old world in Noosa, Australia, to see so many people who are struggling to be a healthy weight.

In the past 40 years, there has been a startling increase in the number of obese people worldwide–rising from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, according to the most comprehensive analysis of trends in body mass index (BMI) to date.

I have often wondered what the real cause of the obesity problem is?  Why is it that so many people of all ages and in so many counties are facing this epidemic? Is it the lack of exercise in this electronic age? Fast food? Junk food? Longer working hours? Less time in our  busy lives to cook healthy? Lack of understanding about which foods are ‘healthy foods’?  ….so many potential causes …

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With this in mind I thought I would look at what the latest research has been saying about healthy eating and exercise. I do want to admit at this point that, personally, I enjoy exercising. I believe that it has so many health benefits as it can help to maintain mental health, improve bone density, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, maintain weight and reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. It even helps to grow new brain cells – who doesn’t need that! BUT for losing weight it the experts are now saying that exercise is only a small part of only answer!

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Here is a short clip I found that explains this well- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztiHRiFXtoc)

 

Here are some thoughts about exercise and weight loss from a website called Paleo Leap:-

  • It’s trivially easy to eat many more calories from processed foods than you can reasonably burn, even if you’re very active and work out every day. For example, to burn off all 1,000+ calories in 1 slice of The Cheesecake Factory’s, a 54kg  woman would have to jog for about 3 and a half hours – and that’s just dessert!
  • The food industry has a vested interest in making you believe that you can easily out-exercise a junk diet, because it gives them license to keep selling you junk food. But just because it’s profitable for the food industry to say doesn’t make it true.
  • Even if you were dedicated enough to burn off a bunch of extra junk food calories every day, is that really how you want to spend your life? Hour after hour of running so you can “afford” your sugar hit? Does anyone have time for that

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‘The Guardian‘ article titled – ‘Exercise alone won’t cause weight loss’ has some good points about the importance of exercise but again highlights that its not the best method for losing weight.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said: “Being physically active is good for your physical and mental health and also helps to maintain a healthy weight. However, the evidence shows the most effective way of losing weight is to reduce calorie intake through a healthy balanced diet.”

Dr Asseem Malhotra, cardiologist adviser to the National Obesity Forum, went further: “We know exercising in the right way has many health benefits but weight loss isn’t one of them,” he said. “We need to disassociate obesity with exercise altogether. If we’re going to combat obesity, it’s going to happen purely from changing the food environment.”

Experts from –  The guardian

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To sum up what I have learnt..

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From what I have read it seems to me that it once again comes down to the old saying …

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While exercise has many benefits for our body, as a means to losing weight it seems it is actually not a very good option.  Who would have thought!  We seem to be moving as much as we always have and burning as many calories as we previously have….  

but 

The food we are consuming is higher in fructose, is highly processed, uses more refined flour and contains the wrong type of oils. I saw a great slogan as I was searching for images for this week. I think it sums up well what I have learnt –

 

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In other words have the strength and willpower  to eat ‘like your grandparents’ – food that is mainly unprocessed and fructose free.
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