Tag: Exercise

How Important is Working Out to Weight Loss?

We’ve all had thoughts like “If I work out really hard now, I can eat that pizza later. Right?” Well, no. Working out does not give you a free pass to eat whatever you want if you’re looking to shed those extra pounds. Consuming fresh foods in balance is the key to weight-loss success, exercise plays a much smaller role than you may think.

Now we aren’t saying that exercise isn’t important; it’s just not as important as what you are eating when it comes to losing weight. Exercise is great for over-all good health. It helps reduce the risk of stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and heart attack. It also helps to torch more calories to enhance your weight loss efforts and tones your body as you are losing inches. However, when it comes to weight loss; it can’t erase the harmful effects of unhealthy foods. Here are some reasons why exercise isn’t the ‘magic pill’ that many people believe it is.

A number of calories burnt through exercise are relatively small in the grand scheme of things. We use up most of our calories just by being alive (the resting metabolic rate). To put it in a real-life scenario, let’s say there is a 200-pound man who is at 30% body fat. He will expend 1,743 calories per day just by staying alive.

On top of that, he’ll expend more calories on top of that through what’s known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): the number of calories that he spends digesting and absorbing his nutrients from food. This accounts for about 10% of total calorie use. It’s even higher on the Diet Center Thermogenic Plan, where foods are specially selected because of their higher fat burning power.

Add another 10% on top of that through a metabolic process known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Adaptive Thermogenesis). This is the amount of calories used by doing things like fidgeting. Unfortunately, this can vary greatly from individual to individual.

This means our subject could expend 2,100 calories without even getting out of bed. Now, add another 10% for getting out of bed and going about his daily routine and he’s already burned 2,300 calories.

Adding exercise into the equation barely makes a dent in his overall caloric expenditure. Now we are not suggesting that you shouldn’t exercise, but rather, it’s important to realize where a majority of your caloric expenditure is coming from.

Not all calories are created equal. A pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less than you burn every day, then after a week (7×500 = 3500) you will have lost a pound of fat.

From this simple equation comes the idea that all calories are created equal, no matter what foods they come from. The fact is that different foods can have vastly different effects on our bodies and go through different metabolic pathways before they’re turned into energy. Just focusing on the calorie content of foods and disregarding the metabolic effects they have is a highly flawed way of thinking. Two hundred calories of broccoli is NOT the same as two hundred calories of potato chips.

Most people are horrible estimators of calories in vs. calories out. Yes, it’s important that you are burning more calories than you are consuming in order to lose weight. There is one problem with this method: user error. People either think they are burning more calories or consuming fewer calories than they really are. The grab-a-handfuls and the Hershey Kiss at the office all add up. A structured food plan with accountability closes this gap and provides results.

Movement is important and that should be the primary focus when looking to drop pounds and inches fast.  Save the weights for when you are closer to goal and focus on movement that helps to reset your day.  Park further in the parking lot, do a light 30 minute walk or swim.  This will help boost metabolism and blast the inches away fast in conjunction with your program.

At Diet Center, our focus is on eating quality, whole fresh foods. It is important that you learn about how to address the causes of weight gain and how to ensure your body is receiving the proper nutrients. Once you have an understanding of that and start to see the weight start to drop, you will feel so good and have so much energy that you will enjoy being more active.

STAYING ACTIVE: TRY SOMETHING NEW THIS SUMMER

Summer is almost halfway over, but it’s not too late to take advantage of the summer weather. During the summer months life tends to get busy and staying active can be a challenge. You must genuinely enjoy the physical activity that you work into your Diet Center Program in order for it to stick long-term. After all, it’s difficult to stay motivated if you’re doing something that you don’t like to do.

Often times, people associate physical activity with working out at the gym, running on a treadmill, spending time on an elliptical machine or lifting weights. If you’re not into these kinds of activities, staying active may seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to! The key to staying physically active consistently is to find something that you like to do and make it a priority when planning your life. In the realm of physical activity there are so many different and fun things that you can try. If you’re having a hard time staying active this summer, here’s a few suggestions to get you moving before the summer is through:

Hiking

You don’t have to live deep in the mountains to hit up the hiking trails. Even if you live in a city, there is likely city parks, state parks and nature preserves with hiking trails nearby. Keep in mind, there’s no hard and fast rule that hiking must be done in nature, either. Is it still hiking if you take a walk through your town, city or urban area? Yes! Urban hiking is a thing (seriously, Google it) and if you enjoy being outdoors and getting more acquainted with the community that you live in, perhaps it’s time to lace up your shoes and hit the streets!

Group Classes

There is perhaps nothing hotter right now in the fitness world than group classes. If you work out by yourself all the time, it can be difficult to stay motivated and push yourself. Although group classes are far from a new concept, they have risen in popularity in recent years as several group fitness gym concepts have sprung up and had success. Do a Google search for gyms in your area – you’ll likely be surprised by what you find. Group yoga, cycling, pilates, barre, water aerobics, boot camp training, boxing and strength training classes are only a few of the options available if you’re looking to get a workout in a group setting.

Rec Sports Leagues

Playing sports is a great way to work out without realizing you’re working out. Once the spirit of competition sweeps you away, it’s easy to participate in a half hour or hour of physical activity almost unwittingly. If high intensity sports like soccer, flag football, racquetball or basketball aren’t your jam, don’t sweat it! There’s plenty of mid-to-low intensity sports to get involved in like sand volleyball, golf, softball and kickball (yes, adult kickball leagues…once again, Google it).

Bike Riding

Remember when you were a kid and anytime you needed to get around the neighborhood you rode your bike? Take a ride back to the good old days and make it a goal to ride your bike to work a couple times a week. Have a long commute? Consider taking your bike to run errands after work or just ride it for the sake of riding it. After all, it’s summer – get out and get some fresh air!

Kayaking

There’s nothing better in the summer than being on the water. If you enjoy nature but aren’t really into hiking, maybe kayaking will float your boat. Kayaks are relatively inexpensive and allow you to take a one person expedition of your local lakes, rivers and streams. However, if you decide to buy or rent a kayak, don’t think that you have to go it alone! Gather some friends and hit the water together. Plan a weekly kayak date and make it a social group activity.

Dancing

Dance classes are a great way to have fun and get your steps in! Although the term ‘dance class’ may conjure up images of Zumba or dance aerobics classes, you can also join classes that teach you how to dance (which are great dual purpose classes – learn and burn). Whether you’re interested in ballroom dancing, swing dancing, break dancing or dance aerobics, dance classes are great activities (especially for couples) that will get you moving, grooving and burning calories.

Martial Arts

Did you ever want to be a ninja when you were a kid? Now’s your chance! Join a martial arts class and learn discipline, self defense and get in shape while you’re at it. Martial arts classes are a great way to build strength, both mentally and physically, and they can prepare you to defend yourself if the need arises. Ready to kick-start your martial arts training? Search for Karate, Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Kung Fu or Kickboxing classes in your area.

Your Diet Center Counselor will be glad to help with activity ideas and to hold you accountable. Just let us know how we can help.

Brain Boosting Benefits of Cardio Exercise

We all know that logging miles on the treadmill can help with weight loss, but adding more cardio to your life will also boost your productivity, rev your energy, and turn you into an unstoppable success machine. Even one 30-minute cardio session pumps extra blood to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to perform at max efficiency. Cardio also floods the brain with chemicals that enhance functions such as memory, problem solving, and decision making.

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Walk Before You Can Run

We have all heard the saying that you need to learn to walk before you run. In this case I am taking the interpretation literally. Many people looking to lose weight and get fit often turn to running to increase calorie burning and cardiovascular endurance and health. Unfortunately often people quit running as quickly as they get started due to injury and lack of progress in reaching their goals Below are my tips to safely start running:

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Walking Shoes

Am I Wearing the Right Walking Shoe?

Running and walking are among the purest, most natural forms of exercise around. With newfangled innovations like Freon-filled midsoles and pump-it-up tongues, it’s knowing which shoes to buy that seems to require an advanced degree. Choose the wrong athletic shoes and you could end up lying on the couch nursing shin splints or aching heels instead of enjoying a brisk walk or run.

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