Student Bob wrote:
Wow, nice going Rob!! That’s some impressive commitment, and it’s good to see that you’re getting the results you deserve!!
I’m gonna chuck in my 2p’s worth in case it helps, I’m currently writing my Masters thesis on obesity in public health and exercise physiology. Basically, current thinking is that all the exercise guidelines and whatnot are based on and aimed at normal weight people, if you’re overweight or obese, your body reacts differently to exercise so you should be doing less.
I’ve got a research trial starting in a few months to prove this point, but the pilot study finished last week, we reduced exercise by 20% for an overweight guy and got a 5% reduction in waist circumference (‘cos that’s the most important health indicator in obesity – and it means your jeans aren’t as tight…) after 8 weeks with no dieting or any other lifestyle change. The result was the same as we would have expected for a normal weight person.
There’s a few points you can take from that, firstly, if you’re running, you’re running too fast and too long. Everyone assumes that you have to run fast, you really don’t, it actually reduces your ability to lose weight. A light jog, barely above walking pace is about right. You’re looking for 65% of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age is as good as anything), which you can check by counting your pulse at your wrist for 15secs and multiplying by 4. My trial would propose that you run at that pace for 190 minutes each week – or 38 minutes for five days a week.
The low running pace means that you’re a LOT less likely to get injured, and running becomes easier and therefore more enjoyable!!
We’re getting results with no dieting, because you don’t want to be dieting the rest of your life, and, if we had to make you either diet or exercise to lose weight, it’s gotta be exercise. Diets are getting so extreme nowadays that people are dying, that’s not right… Besides, if you’re stable at a certain weight, then it means that your body has balanced the energy input with output, so we’re simply adding more output at a level that won’t encourage stuffing yerself with chocolate digestives when you get home.
Man, that’s a lot of typing…. Sorry. I’ll stop now….
Not that I'd wholly disagree with what you've written - and I understand the thrust of where you're coming from.
But, most studies seem mainly about the physiological aspect of exercise and diet adherence for weight loss / maintenance.
We're all probably - largely - all on the same page, with the science - do more than you take in: weight loss; do less than you take in: weight gain. Partitioning, exercise, macro-nutrient breakdown and bodycomposition can be hugely variable, and multi-factorial, there.
Where I'm coming from, is that the biggest barrier, either to weight loss, sustained weight loss, or maintenance, for most, is the psychological aspects and adherence.
To my mind - although many don't want to hear it, these days, and would opt in favour of something more results orientated - dealing with the psychological and hormonal issues would be beneficial to most that have entered into some weight loss regime (be that more about appetite and leptin issues, insulin resistance, or more behavioural / landscape hormones like seratonin.
Lyle wrote about that in his book about bromo - which is an book that's oft confused by many as to it's purpose.
All the same, I see your point that for many at the weighter end of the scale, their demands for increased activity and exercise are often less than truly required - at FIRST though.
But then that's simple logic, the longer weight loss goes on, the harder it will be. And I get that people are inherently lazy, and the concept of advocacy of doing less might seem to be a boon - until you consider long-term and behaviourism.
Adherence is the biggest stumbling block to it all - short term 6 months to a year, perhaps even a couple of years are cream cheese, it's after that, that's a problem.
That rarely gets addressed, and is as much (if not more so) the bigger picture. I understand where you are coming from - obesity is perhaps at epidemic proportions in the US, and looks to be approaching that over here - and the basic idea of getting bums of seats and doing more is probably where a lot see a need.
I don't hugely have a problem with it - but all the same, adherence is STILL the biggest major issue for any groups that you get started - it's where they're going to be in 3 or 5 years time - stats say for some there will be a rebound effect, for many (perhaps most) they'll be worse off than they were.
Your thrust seems to be how to get it less daunting, more tempting and perhaps less harming at first - and I have no huge issues with that.
But the real issue is what will keep them there.
I get that the initial rush of blood and enthusiasm for newly found (or regained) exercise routines can often be more than required, and perhaps can cause physiological damage in themselves - but if the safey issue can be controlled, what's of greater benefit is sufficient reward and enjoyment out of something that keeps it at the fore.
I'm just not sure I buy that the make it easy and less daunting (exploiting the inherent laziness) is such a long-term victory (I guess more from a behavioural perspective).
I suppose there is the prospect that valid research showing less exercise or physical exertion than most would think is required, may be enticing - but at the end of the day, what will really matter, is what's kept people on track for years.
Most people who commit to something long term, probably are helped if it's not too daunting. All the same, they want to see progress and achievement. But biggest of all, they need steps, help, understanding - and perhaps other biological assistance that addresses the behavioural / psychological issues of weight control.
It's a thorny landscape looking forward, and some (typically who've never had problems) think it's fairly easy, they just despise the presumed laziness in some, some just think it's the physiological and perhaps biological issues that could be helped, and others get what truly helps keep people on the straight and narrow.
I have no significant qualifications in this field, although some years ago, I did work in the health and fitness industry, and I have spent decades (since the mid 80s) training in gyms, training outside of gyms, studying and reading various aspects of exercise, diet, nutrution and endocrinology - and I have to say, out of it all - the biology and physiology seems the most straightforward bit - it's the mind, behaviour, psychology, and endocrinolgy aspects that are the main obstacles to long term health and weight control.