Eat what you like and don’t gain weight!
We all have them: friends who claim they can eat what they like and never gain any weight. This is not just frustrating for the rest of us, but also seems hugely unfair! So what is going on? Do they have a secret that they do not want to share with us? Do they have some sort of special DNA? Do they have a “fast metabolism”, or is the solution much simpler than that?
We know that obesity, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis are usually associated with eating too much, but this might not be the whole truth. Sedentary lifestyles, i.e. lack of movement, significantly slows down metabolism. Slowing down metabolism means less of the food we consume is converted to energy and more of it is converted to fat.
Many studies show how regular movement throughout the day actually plays a major part in keepingthe weight down. One study asked 16 lean volunteers to overeat 1000 calories a day above and beyond their normal energy needs every day for 8 weeks. This means that after 8 weeks, they had consumed a total of 56,000 calories. Some of the volunteers gained almost no body fat after 8 weeks! So how did they do this? As it turns out, the volunteers who did not gain any weight, had a very high NEAT level (the energy a person expends going about his or her everyday life). In short, they did not go the gym more often, or tried harder workouts; they just did not sit down as much during the day. They kept moving, little and often! Sitting down significantly slows down metabolism. The key is to keep moving.
Many of us have desk jobs these days and will struggle to move throughout the day. But perhaps the following tips might help you. When using your mobile, do not sit down, but make it a walking talk. Strolling at less than two miles an hour increases the energy expenditure by 200 calories an hour. Conduct two of your daily meetings strolling, and you will burn 400 calories a day. Do this 5 times a week for one year and you can do the maths yourself. (approximately 100,000 calories).
The work place itself can become a more active place as well. There is one company in the US that encourages walk-and-talk meetings by taping walking tracks to its carpet. Another firm discouraged workers from sending email to their colleagues by creating “e-mail free work zones”,whereby computer networks block email messages to close-by laptops.
Excessive weight also contributes to back pain, so losing a few pounds will help reducing your back pain. One can be a whole lot healthier, leaner and suffer less from back pain by just incorporating minor changes to one’s life. (I assume you have been standing up halfway through this article, haven’t you?)