Monday, July 11, 2011

Eating Cake and Losing Weight

After a few days of counting my usage of a certain phrase, I’ve decided to take Luis’ suggestion and rename my blog. I’ve also decided to schedule updates on Fridays so as to give me more time to write. I basically write when the muses visit me and not whenever I want to, which is inconvenient but I don’t like making works of poor quality.

As promised, my next discussion will be on weight loss and maintenance. This is very important to me because I have a sedentary job and I found myself gaining weight after I became self-employed. Although I knew that obesity was a risk factor for deadly incommunicable diseases, there was always this voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t going to be one of those people on television. Then, one a rainy day, I was watching the Discovery channel and it was an episode entitled, “Super Obese.” I don’t have a copy of this episode and I’m hoping that it becomes available locally soon.

The important word for this article is “calorie” which means “an amount of food having an energy-producing value equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water 1 degree Celsius.”

To cut a long story short, the program has 3 bullet points:
1. People usually gain weight because their daily activities decrease but their eating habits remain the same.

Basically, we all know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Well, the human body is an energy system. Our only sources of energy input are eating and drinking. Breathing only contributes the material by which we can harvest the energy. Although we use an amount for regular maintenance, our energy output can be voluntarily increased by physical activity. So when we go back to statement #1, it simply means the person’s input eventually exceeds the output.

You often hear the statement, “I have a low metabolic rate,” or something roughly similar to that. Guess what? Your metabolic rate is actually under your control. You can increase it by exercising or working, exercise being the safer. Take note that exercise is not work and vice versa.

2. Our bodies run better when we have fewer calories available.

The human body is an expert in conserving energy. That’s basically the reason why it is easier to gain rather than lose weight. Unfortunately, becoming overweight is like living in a cluttered house. You eventually have very little space to move and do things quickly and effectively.

A lot of individuals have forgotten that the human body produces sugar (glucose) and fat (triglycerides) at will in response to excessive intake of calories. If you remember your high school biology, you would know that the digestive system breaks down all the food you eat into its component compounds. Carbohydrates become sugars, fats become fatty acids and glycerol, while proteins become amino acids. In short, getting fat and eating fat are two different things. As most people have experienced, you can get fat without eating fat. However, what most people don’t know is that you can lose weight even while eating fat.

I’ll continue with the third bullet point when I return.

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