Friday, May 9, 2014

Supersizing Part 2

Today we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic in our nation as are most developing nations.   But the big question still remains. Why are so many adults, teens and children overweight or obese?
Obesity and overweight has been linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, asthma, many instances of cancer and other weight related diseases.  We are told by medical authorities to exercise on a regular basis and eat less as if that was some newfangled idea that countless millions would never have thought of.  
If it were this simple, obesity and being overweight could be linked to the simple equation of calories in vs calories expended or the more simply put “overeating.”  In the book “Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, he states that according to the World Health Organization, “overweight is an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.”
But is this the genesis of all weight issues?  According to Taubes this way of thinking about our weight is so compelling and so pervasive that it is nearly impossible NOT to think about obesity and excess weight in this fashion.  But is this really true?  I have known many people that exercise for a great length of time each day and still have trouble with unwanted weight.  If it were simply an issue of will power to eat less and exercise more, we would have a fraction of the obesity and overweight issues in this country than we do today.
So if eating less and exercising more does not appear to be the magic equation, is there any hope? The answer is yes.  While exercise and eating in sensible quantities is a necessary part of any good health management and weight loss routine, simply cutting back calories is not the answer. While there is always a sacrifice to achieve anything in life, in trying improve heath and lose weight, the real question is “what needs to be sacrificed?”  Eating fewer calories is simply too general a statement.
Another reason the calories in vs. calories out is not a completely accurate statement is the fact that we are all different as individuals.  Some people can eat very moderately, exercise moderately and gain weight while others can consume thousands of calories each day, engage in no exercise and be thin as a rail. We are all different so taking a look at some simple science will give individuals some information upon which to base their weight loss strategies for their own situation.
So what makes us fat? Instead of defining obesity as a disorder of energy imbalance or excessive eating, we need to identify what regulates fat accumulation. Once this has been identified, we can begin to tailor strategies that will help you lose weight and improve health as part of a lifestyle change.
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer and exercise and endurance enthusiast.  He competes yearly in numerous running races, marathons, ultra marathons, triathlons and other endurance events. 

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