Regular physical activity can produce long term health benefits. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active. The more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits. We would love for you to join us this Saturday, April 22nd at Lea McKeighan Park in Lee’s Summit for an event called, “Walk With a Doc”. We will have a physician on hand, Dr. Matthew John, to answer questions you may have as we all get a bit of exercise walking the beautiful park. Can’t make it this week? See all the dates we have planned at the bottom of this post.
Being physically active can help you:
As a dietitian, I do not focus on counting calories with most of my patients. Why? Because although I’m not denying that calories exist, estimated calories are just that – an estimate. Many other factors are involved when looking at an individual’s diet and health goals. Plus, the idea that calories in = calories out is outdated. Research shows, along with my own personal experience working with clients, that our bodies are much more complex than a mathematical equation.
Have you ever followed a low calorie diet, watched your portion sizes, and felt “hangry” all day just to find that the scale either hasn’t budged or worse, you have GAINED weight?? Or maybe you have restricted calories for a few months, lost weight, and then found yourself a bit heavier than you started a few more months down the road. Well you’re not alone. Research has even shown that calorie-restricted diets lower your resting metabolic rate, or the amount of calories we burn at rest. This makes it even more difficult to maintain the weight you have lost.
Well, while calories are something to consider (I’m not saying it’s a free-for-all), they shouldn’t be the main focus. Rather, the QUALITY and BALANCE of our diets is what will set us up for long-term success. If the calorie theory were true, our bodies would process a 100 calorie Snack Pack of chocolate chip cookies the same as a 100-calorie apple, or Diet Coke the same as water (they are both zero calories after all!). But is this the case? Absolutely not. Our energy levels, weight and cravings are all controlled by hormones, which are controlled by the food we eat. Insulin, for example, is a vital hormone that is needed to help control blood sugars but it’s also a fat storage hormone. Too much (caused by the types of foods we eat, i.e. sugar, processed carbs, etc.) causes inflammation in our bodies, insulin resistance (which can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes) and inhibits fat-burning. Instead we start storing the calories we are eating as fat vs. burning it for fuel.