Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Obesity in America

According to an article published in the New York Times today September 2, 2009 - 

"Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. For most, research shows, neither diets nor moderate exercise brings significant long-term weight loss."

"Dieting alone is rarely successful, and relapse rates are high.  Moderate exercise, too, rarely results in substantive long-term weight loss, which requires intensive exercise."  These facts are from a new study from the Centers for Disease Control. 

According to this study - 
"The leisurely after-dinner walk may be pleasant, and it may be better than another night parked in front of the television. But modest exercise of this sort may not do much to reduce weight, evidence suggests."

“People don’t know that a 20-minute walk burns about 100 calories,” said Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, director of the weight-management center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “People always overestimate the calories consumed in exercise, and underestimate the calories in food they are eating.”

I am so glad to read this study - it is something my husband and I have known all along.  

For myself I try to burn at least 400-450 calories during my cardio workouts 4x a week.  Every person  is different and will need to burn different amounts to lose weight.  This just happens to be the number I need to burn per day to keep my weight maintained.  

Keep in mind that many cardio machines over estimate the number of calories burned.  The only way to know for sure exactly how much you have burned is to wear a heart rate monitor.  

Try wearing a pedometer while you run or walk.  Newer stlye pedometers are able to program in your step length and your current weight.  It is amazing to see how long it takes to burn 400 calories while this is not a leisurely walk - you should not be able to carry on a conversation - you should be breathing hard!!  Typically it takes me about 2 hours of walking - about 7 miles to make my goal of 400-450.

There are many days that I do not want to work out - that I would much rather go home then go to the gym BUT I force myself to go and I am ALWAYS glad I did.  

If you would simply write down all of the food and liquids you consume in a journal for a week - you would be completely surprised at the number of calories you have eaten in a day.  Most people should be aiming for 1500-1800 calories per day.  

Do something for yourself today - run/bike ride(not just down hill either) - walk for an hour....drink tons of water - make it your mantra!!

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