Habits of Health Weekly Meeting
Weight Gain issues
Where to they come from
The simple answer for weight gain or loss, is balancing calories in versus calories expended. Take in more calories than you expend, and you will gain fat.
This is a simple answer, and many people stop right there or decide that it will take more activity in their lives, burning more calories, to stay slim.
Believe me, activity / exercise is not a major factor or the answer to weight gain or weight loss. In actuality the major number of calories the body utilizes are during normal body functions, even during sleep. The name for that process is Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). The basal metabolic rate accounts for about (60% - 75%) of the total calories burned each day.
Running a mile at 12 minutes per mile uses up about 100 calories. Therefore, a marathon 26.2 miles would burn up about 2900 calories, less than the calories contained in a pound of fat (3600 calories).
Another factor not usually considered is the fact that the body will choose to utilize sugar / glucose for energy if the demand for energy comes on too fast. It takes time to get some fat from our fat stores, break it down into energy that the body can use. The Fat Burn Zone ( from an exercise standpoint) is below the aerobic zone and is generally calculated to be between 50 and 65% of the maximum heart rate.
Maximum heart rate can be calculated by using the number 205 and subtracting one-half your age. For a person forty years old, it would be 205 minus 20 equaling 185. Fat burning zone: Max heart rate times 60% (185 X 60% = 111)
A huge factor for weight gain which many people ignore is the amount of carbohydrates (sugar) they consume. Any food staple that is not a fat or a protein fall into the category of a carbohydrate. They may be ingested as a simple carbohydrate such as glucose, simple table sugar or of a more complex nature such as galactose (sugar contained in vegetables) or fructose the (sugar contained in fruits). The foods containing carbohydrates are rated by what is called a glycemic index.
The glycemic index has a scale of 0 to 100. Foods high on the index increase blood sugar levels rapidly and with higher values than foods lower on the index.
If a person eats high glycemic foods and does not let the blood sugar base line lower and stabilize before the next ingestion, then the blood sugar and insulin baselines will move upward.
When the base lines are elevated the blood sugar and insulin combine to form triglycerides, which then are stored as fat. If we are not careful that glass of orange juice containing roughly six teaspoons of sugar, first thing in the morning, can start the process of adding fat to the body.
Another fat burn zone to consider is stabilizing the blood sugar and insulin base line levels. When the blood sugar and insulin base line levels are lowered and stable, you will be in a light state of ketosis, i.e. a fat burning zone. It generally takes between two to three days for that stabilization to happen. If during that time you spike the blood sugar levels, it then starts the stabilization period over again. During the stabilization period a person may experience some discomfort.
Part of everyone’s diet will contain some fat. It is good to remember that a gram of fat contains nine calories, not four like carbohydrates or proteins. Everyone should understand and acknowledge that fat is an excellent source of energy. Fat is a good thing until it's not. Once fat is digested the stomach acids break it down into fatty acids. Any of those fatty acids not utilized for energy, will combine with a glycerol molecule and form triglycerides, which are stored as body fat.
Of course, we never want to overlook the fact that a malfunctioning thyroid can cause weight loss to become more difficult. That said, there are ways to control thyroid function and not let it be an excuse for not taking action on the things we know will assist us in becoming healthier.
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