2020 fitness

Published January 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



“From exertion come wisdom and purity  from sloth ignorance and sensuality.”

–  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), US philosopher,

Walden (1854)

Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.
Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.

The die is cast. While the year is new, you have decided to get rid of the excess weight and concentrate on being a good “loser.” How will you do it? Trending of course is ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. But before jumping on the bandwagon, some basic reading is in order.

Calories, Let me Count the Ways.  What is a calorie? The original, precise definition is “the amount of heat required to raise at a pressure of 1 standard atmosphere the temperature of 1 gram of water 1° Celsius.” In popular use, calories are just the energy converted from food. The body needs constant fuel to function – that is from breathing to walking to thinking and everything else. The main sources of energy for the body come from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, they do not provide the same energy. Proteins and carbohydrates have about 4 calories per gram and fats have 9 calories per gram. Now, calories ingested are either converted to physical energy or if there is too much of it, the body stores it as fat. To mobilize this fat, the person must reduce the amount of calories taken so that the body will rely on its fat stores. Or the person must increase the amount of physical activity – to burn more calories. Therefore, from this explanation it’s easy to understand plump thighs and potbellies. Barring disease or metabolic disorder, that person gained weight because she ate more calories than she could burn.

Caloric Needs Differ. Unfortunately, that’s not all of it. If weight management was just a simple a matter of calories in, energy out, there wouldn’t be a billion-dollar weight-loss industry. Age is a factor because metabolism naturally slows with aging. Also, without any exercise, the amount of muscle in the body tends to decrease while fat increases in aging. Sex is a factor because men tend to have more muscles and burn more calories than women. As for body size, a bigger body mass requires more energy than does its smaller counterpart. The body composition is also a factor since a muscular body will have a higher basal metabolic rate (rate of energy use for basic bodily functions) than a fat-laden body.

Bottom-Line Equation. Here’s the math of weight loss: 1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories. SO, you will need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound. To lose one pound a week, you must eat 500 calories less a day for 7 days (500 x 7 days = 3,500 calories). Losing more, from the 8 to 10 pounds a week fad diets, is actually water or muscle weight loss. The weight bounces right back when the diet ends.

Five Proven Weight Loss Strategies. According to Mayo Clinic diet and nutrition experts, weight loss can be achieved by internalizing the following five strategies.

  1. Make a commitment. Weight loss means time and effort. At a certain age, past 40 for most, weight loss is a necessity and not simply a vanity wish. Many diseases – hypertension, heart disease, diabetes among them, can be prevented or delayed with lasting weight loss.
  2. Get emotional support. Weight loss needs a cheering squad. The best partner is a wife, husband, or friend who needs to lose weight too. Exercise and sensible eating need not be torture for mind and body. There’s always someone to recruit in sharing weight loss goals.
  3. Set a realistic goal. Process goals are key. Think of exercising and eating right rather than thinking in terms of outcome goals. An outcome goal is an endpoint like “to lose 30 pounds.” It is the finished product while a process goal is the action to get there. It makes more sense.
  4. Enjoy healthier foods. Health experts can never stress this more: eat more plant-based foods: whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Fish is better (minus the lead and mercury of course) than a steady diet of processed meats. Also, if you must fry (instead of the healthier steaming and boiling), the less saturated the oil, the better. These would be olive oil and canola oil.
  5. Get active and stay active.Studies have repeatedly shown that given two groups on weight loss programs, the group that diets and exercises loses more and keeps the pounds off longer than the group that diets alone. Of course, get a green and go from your favorite doctor. Exercise must be done regularly to do any good (see last week’s article). For a start, 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking 3 to 4 times a week will show results before this summer!

 It’s clear that weight loss is NOT a haphazard affair. There is a method to it. On the matter of ideal body weight, this is a controversial issue by itself. Some base the best weight from charts and others from a calculated ratio called the BMI or body-mass index.

If you are a serious “loser,” check both. Intuitively though, a person knows when he is fat not only by the way he looks but more by the way he feels.

Maybe 2020 is the year it all happens for you. Start with the weight.

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