Saturday, June 23, 2012

If exercise doesn't really cause weight loss---why do it?

All the reading and studying I have done lately reinforces that the idea that strictly calories in and calories out isn't quite.. well the way it works. Yes a calorie is a calorie, but it takes so much work to just lose a pound. For instance " let’s say you decide to walk at a speed of about two miles per hour for 30 minutes three times a week. That activity will burn about 157 calories per walk (more or less depending on your weight). At three times per week, you will burn 471 calories–nowhere near a pound. Now if you walk faster, say 3 miles per hour, you’ll burn 247 calories per walk. If you increase your walks to five times per week at a speed of 3 miles per hour, you will burn 1,235 calories per week from exercise. If you choose a more challenging workout, like bicycling at a speed of 12-14 miles per hour for a half hour you’ll burn 495 calories per workout. After seven workouts, you will have burned enough calories to lose one pound."

I got a copy of Dana Carpender's How I gave up my low fat diet and lost 40 pounds, which by the way I can't recommend highly enough on ways to figure out how to carb restrict the rest of your life. She was going over Dr. Sears Zone Plan and mentioned a little tidbit I vaguely knew from other places, but made my eyes pop wide open.

It had to do with Eicosanoids. What??? Well I hadn't remembered hearing that term for them even though I read at Dr. Eades Blog and apparently he mentions them or something, but hey forgive me- I a lady in menopause, and the brain doesn't work like it did when I was twenty. They area apparently intra-cellular hormones. Because their split second lives are short and don't reach the blood stream, it makes them hard to find, which is why no one has known fully about them until lately.

Dana divided them up into two groups, "good" and "bad", but as she makes the point and I will do, there isn't truly bad in a body until you have too much of the wrong thing. These little hormones do all kinds of things like narrowing blood vessels or dilate your blood vessels, or decrease inflammation and paid or increase both.

What hit me about the discussion is that of course most of the time we needs more of the ones that benefit our homeostasis in a good way. And that is where exercise and getting optimal protein come in. Those are two things that tend to effect many of the growth of the ones that lower blood pressure or increasing glucagon.

My explanation above is of course incredibly simplistic, but it is one reason that exercise-smart exercise is good for you. Don't be trying to do it for calorie in-calorie out, but smart exercise to help make those little deep cellular changes for the good!


  1. Wow! That's a lot of info lol. Great work!

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