fat loss

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Avoiding the Fat Trap

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Gastric hormones are programmed to restore fat stores after weight loss. The appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin remains high after weight loss, while hunger suppressing hormones, peptide YY and leptin, remain low. Lower leptin levels also lower one’s metabolism. The end result is more hunger and a lower metabolism.

According this NY Times article,  this state of more hunger and lower metabolism lasts a long time. A quote:

“Preliminary research at Columbia suggests that for as many as six years after weight loss, the body continues to defend the old, higher weight by burning off far fewer calories than would be expected.”

Well, it’s no wonder; a study that examined 60 years of trials found the common dieting outcome is weight regain or trivial loss.

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60 years of trials: Most common dieting outcome is weight regain or trivial loss

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From this article, Oprah’s Investment in Weight Watchers Was Smart Because the Program Doesn’t Work, a quote:

“My lab reviewed 60 years of clinical trials of diets, and we found that people lose an average of 10 percent of their starting weight on most diets but within two to five years have gained back all but about two pounds.  So, in reality, despite the short-term effectiveness of certain diet regimes, the most common outcome of dieting itself, by a landslide, is either weight regain or trivial weight loss".

A diet is not a permanent fix. Three life style changes that are sustainable:

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Exercise shown to increase fat burning hormone Irisin

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“High Intensity Training (HIT) enacts a hormonal cascade that is the antithesis of the metabolic syndrome.” - From the web site, Body By Science. 

Part of that cascade is Irisin, a hormone associated with fat burning that correlates positively with muscle mass. From this article, Exercise releases hormone that helps shed, prevent fat:

"Irisin has a positive effect by turning white fat into brown fat and that it increases the body's fat-burning ability." 

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Weight Watchers doesn’t work, but it is the perfect business model

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From this article, Oprah’s Investment in Weight Watchers Was Smart Because the Program Doesn’t Work, this quote: 

“It’s the perfect business model. People give Weight Watchers the credit when they lose weight. Then they regain the weight and blame themselves. This sets them up to join Weight Watchers all over
again, and they do.”

And this:

“According to Weight Watchers’ business plan from 2001, its members have “demonstrated a consistent pattern of repeat enrollment over a number of years,””

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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

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

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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60 studies say exercising is not the key to weight loss

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The opening lines from this article, Why you shouldn't exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies:

"'I'm going to make you work hard', a blonde and perfectly muscled fitness instructor screamed at me in a recent spinning class, 'so you can have that second drink at happy hour!'

At the end of the 45-minute workout, my body was dripping with sweat. I felt like I had worked really, really hard. And according to my bike, I had burned more than 700 calories. Surely I had earned an extra margarita."  

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Changing perceptions: From fit to fat in an instant

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

You are getting stronger and a bit heavier; surely most of that weight is muscle. Some refer to this phenomenon as bulking up. You might subconsciously have a bias when you look in the mirror, as you stand a little straighter, you suck your gut in a bit, and square your shoulders. You could be fooling yourself. 

Several years ago I used to weight myself at the health club where I worked. I was the heaviest I had ever been. No problem, I was the strongest I had ever been. Instead of asking if I once played basketball people would ask me if I had played football.

Shortly after that I went to work at a different health club. They had no scale, but when they did get one I was told it was five pounds off. The scale indicated 250, so I subtracted five pounds to get 245 pounds. I had gained an additional five pounds. Still no problem, I was bulking up and getting stronger.

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The results of a study on the effectiveness of targeting fat loss

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A woman did a quarter million leg raises in a year, and there was no change, not a scintilla.  There was no spot reduction of fat deposits from her amply marbled hips. Well, that is just one person, and a sample size of one has no statistical power.  Maybe a larger sample size and more accuracy (MRI assessments) would produce a result of statistically significant spot reduction of fat from the area targeted with exercise.

Maybe not, from this article, Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality?, this quote from a study:

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“I am going to miss my connection because you are too fat”

See video

The plane was delayed because the flight attendant could not find a seatbelt extension for Eric. The person sitting next to Eric turned to him and said with complete disgust, “I am going to miss my connection because you are too fat”. That was the turning point for Eric.

Eric, overweight with a number of health issues, had been told by his doctor to buy a funeral plot because he would need one in the next five years. He was 51 years old. On the advice of a doctor, he went to the animal shelter and saved a dog, an overweight middle-aged dog he named Peety. They made changes, and in a year they were transformed.

People need the right motivation to change their lives. Eric credits Peety with saving his life. Eric’s story is inspiring. The video, Eric and Peety, is poignant and well worth watching; it certainly made my day.

It has been more than five years since the change. Eric is still here, and he runs marathons.

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