lose weight

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Americans heavier than 20 years ago

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According to this AOL article Americans weigh 15 more pounds than they did 20 years ago - AOL as the title says:

“According to a new federal report U.S. men and women weigh about 15 pounds more than they did 20 years ago!”

The number is for average adults, but the average adult has changed over the years. The average age of Americans has gone from 30 years of age in 1980 to 37.7 years of age in 2014, and 37 year olds tend to weigh more than 30 year olds.   

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How many more calories are burned standing instead of sitting? Not much

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Researchers measured the caloric expenditure of four groups doing four different activities: typing while sitting, watching TV while sitting, standing, and walking. In 15 minutes it turns out that standing burns 2 more calories than sitting. From this article How Many Calories We Burn When We Sit, Stand or Walk, some quotes:

“Someone who stood up while working instead of sitting would burn about 8 or 9 extra calories per hour. (Just for comparison, a single cup of coffee with cream and sugar contains around 50 calories.)”

And:

“When the volunteers walked for 15 minutes, even at a fairly easy pace, they burned about three times as many calories as when they sat or stood. If they walked for an hour, the researchers calculated, they would incinerate about 130 more calories than if they stayed in their chairs or stood up at their desks.”

You’ve got options for creating a caloric deficit. You could stand at work for most of the day and earn cream and sugar in your coffee, or you could sit at work and drink your coffee black.

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Losing weight and keeping it off - what you are up against

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This New York Times article, The Fat Trap, explores how people lose weight, but almost without exception, gain it right back.

In one study, 50 obese men and women consumed just 500 to 550 calories a day for eight weeks and lost an average of 30 pounds. A year after the study, subjects had regained an average of 11  pounds and reported feeling far more hungry and preoccupied with food than before they lost the weight.

Yeah, I know the diet was too restrictive, but regardless, it is interesting to note what is going on hormonally. A quote from the article:

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Three different diets, equal in calories, three vastly different results

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This New York Times article, What Really Makes Us Fat, discusses the result of a study that produced surprising results.

The experiment: Three separate groups on three different diets stuck to a diet for a month. All subjects consumed the same amount of calories.

Diet 1: A high-carbohydrate low-fat diet - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein.

Diet 2: A low glycemic index diet - fewer carbohydrates in total - non-starchy vegetables, beans, and minimally processed sources.

Diet 3: The Atkins diet - high in fat and protein and very low in carbohydrates.

Results: The fewer carbohydrates consumed, the more energy was expended.

A quote from the article:

“On the very low-carbohydrate diet, subjects expended 300 more calories a day than they did on the low-fat diet and 150 calories more than on the low-glycemic-index diet.”

And another:

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The right kind of exercise to lose weight

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NYT article concluded that To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More:

Reasons for that mentioned in the article:

  1. Exercise stimulates the appetite.
  2. Exercise over time makes us more efficient.  A more efficient body burns less calories.
  3. Exercise burns precious few calories.

You can eat three less Oreos or run an extra mile to have the same calorie deficit.  You can exercise strenuously for 30 minutes or drink two less 16 ounce cokes. That is an easy call for me.

The article states:

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Is exercising to lose weight a losing proposition?

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Sorry about the pun. According to Wikipedia: A human being traveling on a bicycle at 16–24 km/h (10–15 mph), using only the power required to walk, is the most energy-efficient means of human transport generally available.  Just how energy efficient is the bicycle?

The LiveStrong web site has an article, Calories Burned Biking One Mile detailing how many calories one burns riding a bike. Looking at the numbers from that source and others sources as well, you can get a rough estimate of number of calories burned riding a bike. Depending how much you weigh and how fast you ride you are going to expend anywhere from @ 30 to 60 calories per mile riding a bike. For ease of computation let’s use an average of 45 calories per mile of bike riding.

Add two other factoids:  There are 31,500 food calories in a gallon of gas, and there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.

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Changes This New Year

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

I worked at quite a few different health clubs in my years in New Orleans. I am guessing that what goes on in New Orleans in no different than what goes on in other gyms around the country. In 34 years in the fitness business, this is what I have observed every January. The first two weeks, the gym is filled to capacity. There are a lot of new faces. I remember my first year working with a guy who was 290 pounds. He told me he would be doing the butterfly across the pool in six months. He came into gym for hours every single night for five nights in a row. The next week I didn't see him, and I never saw him again. The second two weeks, the gym thins out a bit. The second month, things are pretty much back to normal. There are the same faces you see the year round, plus there are some new faces.

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Exercise and weight loss, how much?

From this article this quote: Exercise: The News You Don't Want to Hear

“A much better and more efficient way to exercise -- and one that research is clearly showing works a lot better -- is to do high-intensity circuit training. Put the beauty bells down and lift some iron. Shorten your rest periods. If you're doing "aerobics," do some interval training where you sprint for a while then jog to catch your breath.

And by the way, forget about "toning." It doesn't exist. You're either building muscle, maintaining the muscle you already have, or your muscles are slowly shrinking. The first two are accomplished with weight that's heavy to lift. The third is accomplished by doing nothing.

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Lose weight by lifting weights

Strength training can have a positive role in fat loss. If one goes on a diet with significant caloric restriction the body's response of self preservation is accomplished by lowering it basal metabolic rate. The body does this by catabolizing lean body mass. The weight loss will be both fat and muscle. If one strength trains the body receives the message that lean body tissue is vital to survive the demands placed on it. Rather than losing lean body mass the body preserves it and adds to it.

From Men's Health magazine article 5 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight:

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