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Thursday, 9 January 2014

But how much exercise do I need to do?

Want the simple answer - how much exercise do you need to do to lose weight?

You have always been told that weight loss is a simple equation - energy in versus energy out. Eat less, exercise more. It's simple. You are overweight because you don't have enough self control - right!? Come on, really, if it was that simple - most of us would be lean mean running machines. So why aren't we?

Answer the following questions:
A calorie is a calorie, no matter where is comes from - correct?
I just have to eat less and exercise more, yes?

The fact of the matter is that it's not that simple. All calories are not created equal. The food groups of protein, fat and carbohydrates all have different biological and hormonal responses in your body. When you eat protein, your body responds differently from when you eat fat, and very differently again when you eat carbohydrates. Dr Robert Lustig, author of 'Fat Chance and Sugar: the bitter truth' states "that our bodies react to some calories differently than others. Specifically he believes that sugar calories alter our biochemistry to make us hungry and lazy in ways that fat and protein calories do not. As a result he says that the availability of sugar in the western diet is making people sick and obese".

So why am I rabbiting on about protein, fat and carbs? I thought the topic of this blog was exercise.... My point is that you can't exercise a bad diet (or nutrition, I hate the word diet). Successful weight loss is approximately 80% nutrition and the rest is made up of genetics and exercise.

Does that mean I don't need to exercise?? HECK NO! Exercise has a long list of positive health benefits and I highly recommend you move your body on a daily basis. You should exercise in a way that you find fun and enjoyable. Go for a walk, play with the kids at the beach, going cycling or mountain walking with friends.

At Simple Tasty Nutrition I recommend the following exercise plan: 

Move frequently at a slow pace for at least 2 hours per week. Eg, walk, yoga and play

AND (if you are physically able....)

Lift heavy things - Go to gym - Complete short intense exercise sessions at least 1 time per week, no more than 3 times. 5 to 30 minutes per session.

If you read my exercise plan above and think, umm - I exercise way more than that. I recommend you check out the following to make sure you are on track....

Are you exercising too much? Check out this post by Robb Wolf about exercise addiction and how this can effect your health  HERE

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