Those of us who are overweight want to lose weight and inches. It seems that both weight and inches are related. You lose one and you lose the other. Adjusting calories is the most commonly recommended solution. You eat less, therefore, by some magic formula of calories in versus calories expended, you will lose weight and inches.
However, most of us find out that it does not work as advertised. In fact, there are times when you seem to gain weight (and inches) when you stop eating a little.
What if you just did more exercise, expend more calories than normal? You could cut back on calories in and increases calories expended and that should work most, if not all the time. We have seen those people who do both and end up without any weight loss and may add an inch or two somewhere along the way.
Is weight loss that important? Yes and no. If you are obese, it certainly helps to lose weight. Why not shoot first for a healthy lifestyle and then see where that takes you? You might be a few pounds over the norm, but you can rest assured that you are minimizing the risk of disease and increasing your longevity.
A healthy lifestyle involves several things – lower calories, balanced nutrition and an alkaline body. Animals put on restricted calories live longer and healthier than their peers. Similar results are seen in humans, but we haven’t seen the extension in lifespans that we do in animals.
We have a longer lifespan than the animals. Most animals live 15-30% longer (and healthier) when given less food to eat. It should be noted that just a reduction in calories is not wise if you are not maintaining a balance in the nutrition you are eating.
Exercise is needed as part of the human requirement to live longer and healthier. Exercise (various types) affects the two major causes of aging – the reduction in loss of your telomeres and the creation of human growth hormone as you age. Eating a nutritionally balanced diet, lower in calories (about ten calories per pound of body weight) and exercising (high-intensity-type exercises, combined with moderate endurance) adds to your lifespan and improves your overall health.
Our bodies can live on two different fuel sources. The normal one is blood glucose. It is the result of eating carbohydrates. If we eat too many carbohydrates and not exercise enough, we may start to see insulin and leptin resistance increase adding future health problems (diabetes and a whole host of others).
Keeping our bodies in an alkaline condition (above 7.3) is great for many things, especially in fighting disease. A Nobel Prize was given out quite a few decades ago for this theory. A body that is predominantly alkaline prevents disease from establishing a foothold in our bodies.
Eating a ketogenic type diet certainly avoids the increase in blood sugar and provides ketones for our body’s fuel. However, we must be critical of our food choices. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins increase blood acidity. Fruits and vegetables increase blood alkalinity.
I went on the Atkins Diet back in the 90’s. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for years. I lived on ten grams of carbohydrates a day for months at a time and enjoyed my life. Except that I had no endurance when running, I noticed no other changes in my lifestyle.
My food choices kept my body in acidosis. As a result, my body was leaching calcium from my bones to maintain blood pH. The first bone density test I had after six years on the Atkins Diet showed that I was osteopenic. For decades I had lifted weight often and run more miles than I can remember. I enjoyed both types of exercise.
However, all that exercise was negated by my food choices. I believe it is better to live a healthy lifestyle and adjust exercise, stress relief, balance, flexibility and other things that allow you to look and feel better, even if you are maintaining a few pounds more than you want.
As always, if you are overweight and want to change your current lifestyle, consult your physician before making any changes, especially if you are currently on any prescription medicines.