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Exercise and weight control

Intro

Everyone talks about getting into shape and getting more physically fit and some finally act. Marketing and media reports have convinced the public that to get physically fit, you must buy something, usually something expensive, and there is a lot of hype, falsehoods, confusion, and outright lying about what supplements to take to get fit.

Be wary of fitness advice from someone who is trying to sell you something. Here are some truths about using exercise to lose weight that are backed up by independent research.

Exercise is not effective for weight control

Exercise has a lot of benefits, such as increased strength, endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular health, relaxation, mental acuteness, and simple enjoyment. However, it is not an effective way to control weight.

While it is true that increased physical activity burns more calories, there is a major problem with using it for weight control. If you stop exercising for any reason, such as injury, illness, time constraints, weather, or simply laziness, you will gain back any weight lost due to doing the exercises.

There are about 3500 calories in a pound of fat. Running at a 6-mph pace burns about 800 calories per hour for a 150-pound person. That means it takes about 4.5 hours of running to burn off a pound of fat. Let’s say you have a regular cheeseburger, fries, and soft drink for lunch each day, that meal is about 800 calories. By eating a healthier meal of say 400 calories, you save 400 calories. If you do this each day for lunch for about 9 days, you will have eliminated about 3500 calories.

Which takes less time and effort to lose weight, running 4.5 miles, or eating a healthy lunch for 9 days? In addition, you can lose weight this way even with having an injury, illness, or time constraints, etc.

Weight control comes from controlling what you eat

The secrets to weight control are simple:
  • Watch your portions. Portion control has the greatest effect on weight loss. You can eat almost anything if it is done with portion control.
  • Limit fat. Limit fat intake to less than one-third of your daily calorie intake.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. Remember to eat 5 or more portions per day.
  • Choose whole over-refined. Eat whole-grain bread rather than refined bread. Try to eat all food in as near to its natural state as possible, the less processing and refining, the healthier.
  • Eat at home. Eating at home where you have more control helps with weight loss, and it is cheaper.
  • Exercise. As stated above, exercise does burn some extra calories; its benefits come from getting a physically fit and overall increase in well-being, which then helps you eat better and less.

Another myth busted

The storage of food in the body as fat does not increase more at night. Research has shown that, while eating before bed may cause indigestion or sleep problems, it does not make you any fatter than if you had eaten any other time.

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