Diet, exercise, your metabolism… what “counts” the most in a weight management program? Does any one effort, trump another? What is weight management, anyway? Is it possible to lose weight and not find it glued to your hips again, six months after you quit dieting or stop killing yourself in a spin class?
Weight loss is a simple calculation: expend more energy and physical movement than your calorie intake each day and you will weigh less. We humans however, are complicated, emotional beings and simple solutions are never “one size fits all”! Sleep, nutrition, and stress levels are just a few elements that play a part in your motivation to maintain a healthy weight. Most people who have lost a night’s sleep will attest to the desire to overeat the next day. The University of Chicago’s Clinical Research Center did a study that showed participants consuming an extra 300 calories of sweet or salty snacks when they were deprived of sleep. The research also pointed to the sleepy volunteers being less able to fight unhealthy cravings. Repeat a pattern of sleepless nights and it’s easy to see how the pounds pack on.
Nutrition is another component that complicates our simple calculation. You can lose weight eating only jellybeans and cupcakes, but should you? At Kansas State University, Human Nutrition Professor, Mark Haub, lost 27 pounds in two months on the Twinkie Diet. He ate a meal of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks every three hours, limiting his caloric intake to 1800 calories per day, but maintaining the same level of moderate physical activity. Professor Haub had improved health markers because of the weight loss and he somewhat proved his point that a calorie, is a calorie is a calorie. However, not many, if any, nutrition experts would support this diet as a continued healthy lifestyle choice.
So it’s true… use the Adkins, Master Cleanse, (shudder) Paleo, or Twinkie diet…and you Can lose weight, but what will you be left with for overall health? And, once the pounds are off, can you run faster than the chubby devils of fat to keep them from attaching to your thighs again? Which brings us to exercise; you need to burn the calories, right? According to recent studies… not so much. Sidebar: Before debating this point we want to say that exercise is amazing. There are tremendous amounts of undisputed benefits from exercise. It reduces stress, boosts your mood, helps you to sleep better, aids in fighting heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It is not, however, the end all in loosing weight. A 2015 study done by Loyola University Health System found that exercise did little to affect weight loss.
A quote from Drs. Luke and Cooper, the public health scientists performing the study:
“If you increase your activity, your appetite increases and you compensate by eating more food. So with or without increasing physical activity, calorie control remains key to loosing or maintaining weight. The crucial part of the public health message is not appreciated in recommendations to be more active, walk up stairs and eat more fruits and vegetables. The prescription needs to be precise: There is only one effective way to lose weight—eat fewer calories.”
So, if the truth is, you can eat less of anything and lose weight, then you want to be choosy on what that anything is, right? You didn’t need to read this blog to know that even “less” Twinkies as a steady weight management program isn’t going to give you the nutritional balance you need to live your best life. You need to fuel your body in the cleanest, healthiest way to have energy, focus and drive. If you are also one of millions of Americans that could benefit from weight loss, you need to make those calories count.
A and L Masters has a weight loss program that can help. It is based on whole food nutrition and is recommended by a panel of doctors and nutritional experts. We have real life testimonials of people who have shed the pounds, kept them off and are now living healthier and more energy focused lives! If you are interested in hearing more, visit aandlmasters.com, leave your contact info and we will be in touch shortly.