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

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

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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Is exercising to lose weight a losing proposition?

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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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