Like many athletes, I was recently looking for a leg up on the competition. I was preparing for a fall marathon and already working hard on my running and speed work, but I wondered if by tweaking my diet, I could gain an edge. As a registered dietitian and sports nutrition coach, I was aware of several successful elite athletes who practiced vegetarianism.
As a registered dietitian who sees a wide range of clients—from Olympic-caliber athletes to gastric-bypass candidates—
I occasionally field questions about the
efficacy and safety of detoxification (detox) diets. Never having been a fan of any diet or pattern of eating that promises excessively accelerated weight loss, I usually answer these questions with great concern because of the potential dangers of extreme fasting.
In his research paper, Hill notes that body weight and obesity are increasing in all segments of the population in most, if not all, countries around the world. Further, although most people are aware that
a sedentary existence, combined with overeating, has negative health consequences, many are not able to make and sustain the changes to combat this way of life. Moreover, most people who do achieve weight loss goals regain the weight over time. Is it inevitable that our society will eventually be obese?
Since 1980, global obesity has more than doubled. Sixty-five percent of the world’s people now live in countries where overweight and obesity cause more deaths than underweight. In 2010, nearly 43 million children below the age of 5 were overweight (WHO 2011). In spite of global awareness and isolated attempts to face this crisis head-on, the fact remains that our kids are fat and getting fatter.
Obesity is preventable. If we don’t help our children find their way out of the downward spiral of obesity, what will their world be like when they grow up?
As the economy slumps, health experts expect more Americans to develop paunchy guts and bigger butts by packing on “recession pounds.” Plunging personal earnings lead to tighter spending; and many people ditch their gym memberships and buy fewer fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and low-fat meats in favor of cheaper edibles loaded with sugar and fat. Couple that with the specter of unemployment and stress and we have the perfect recipe for weight gain.
If you’re trying to lose weight and not succeeding, part of the problem might be that you are eating mindlessly. Mindless eating means that what, when and how much we eat runs counter to both the body’s true needs and our own health goals. newsletter_teaser: If you’re trying to lose weight and not succeeding, part of the problem might be that you are eating mindlessly. Mindless eating means that what, when and how much we eat runs counter to both the body’s true needs and our own health goals.
One variable of interest in Paoli and colleagues’ study was excess postexercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. This represents the oxygen consumption, or energy expenditure (above the baseline, or pre-exercise, level), that occurs after an exercise bout. It is sometimes called “after-burn,” implying the burning of calories after the workout.
We are taught that weight loss is simply an equation of calories in versus calories out. If only it were that simple. There is no magic formula for weight loss, of course, but researchers have developed many mathematical models to help us better understand how the body sheds weight. This article examines major concerns associated with these calculations (they are far from perfect) and then discusses simpler solutions that empower all of us to confront one of the most vexing issues of our times.
Mary Jayne Rogers, PhD, a 30-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As owner of Profound Wellness, LLC, she provides expert commentary for leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Shape and SELF. Rogers has earned several industry accolades, among them the IHRSA/CYBEX Fitness Director of the Year Award and the IHRSA/Keiser 50+ Award for excellence in mature adult programming. Rogers specializes in whole-person wellness and fitness education and instruction.