Study: exercise doesn’t help weight-loss

I myself have long concluded that while exercise is good for health, it’s a very small component of weight-loss. Anyway, here’s the article.

LONDON — A team of British cardiologists have said it’s time to “bust the myth” that regular exercise tackles obesity.

The strongly-worded editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, published in the May edition of the journal, says you can’t outrun a bad diet and that although regular exercise reduces the risk of developing a number of health issues such as heart disease, dementia, some cancers and type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t promote weight loss.

The authors of the study say the public is “drowned by an unhelpful message” from the food industry that obesity is caused entirely by a lack of exercise, going so far as to describe the tactics used as “chillingly similar” to those employed by big tobacco companies when the links between smoking and lung cancer were first revealed.

“The tobacco industry successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years,” they say. “This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives.”

The food industry has also shifted the conversation to simple calorie counting, the authors write. But it’s the source of calories that matters, the editorial says, arguing that sugar calories promote the storage of fat and make people more hungry, while calories that actually come from fat make a person feel full.

The authors point to a study in the academic journal Nutrition that says the single most effective way to counter obesity is to restrict the intake of carbohydrates. 

Full article:

The sakura petals are falling

I just came back from a nice bike ride along the Nakagawa. The weather today is beautiful. The cherry trees are mostly no longer in full bloom. Some are, but most are half empty (half full?) with sakura falling all around while cycling. It was very pleasant.

Here are a couple of photos, and one slo-mo video of the sakura petals falling. The video runs a bit long. I should really trim it. But it looks so nice and dreamlike in slow motion.

Oh – and the ride took about 30 minutes and burned 265 calories!

Fallenleaves-2 Fallenleaves-1


Today’s lunch

Today’s lunch!

Usually when I come to Hibikinokai I have three onigiri for lunch, for a total of about 660 cal. It’s not really very filling, and because of all the rice I get hungry very quickly. 

Today this is what I had for lunch. Two small boiled eggs from 7-Eleven, a Cobb salad, and edamame. The total for all three was just 441 cal. And it was a lot more filling and interesting.



Diet revisited (ver 1,354.75)

My diet still isn’t going well. The only thing I’m grateful of is that I’ve managed to avoid a complete rebound, for the first time in my life. 

Today is technically diet day 1045. That’s how many consecutive days I’ve been logging at MyFitnessPal. 

From May 2012, when I started, I began a rapid weight descent. At my lowest point this time around I had lost a total of 40 kg. 

But, as has always happened in the past, after 700 days something changes and my diet starts falling apart. In mid 2014 I regained about 5-8 kg. Yet still, somehow, I managed to keep my weight in a range of 3-4 kg. 

Last September, things started getting much worse. At this point I’ve regained half the weight I lost. Everybody can tell. And I feel a lot less comfortable. Worst of all, my blood sugar has risen as a result of weight gain. 

I’ve tried lots of different ways to start losing again. And yes, this includes regular exercise, which I continue to do. 

But the most I’ve been able to accomplish is avoiding a complete rebound. I’m grateful for that, but I have to lose weight. 

For me it is all about weight. If I lose weight – no matter what kinds of food I eat – my blood sugar always returns to normal. If I gain weight my blood sugar goes up. It’s that simple. 

I have no other clinical problems. My cholesterol, blood pressure, lipids, etc. are all normal. My heart tests, at least so far, are all normal. 

But high blood sugar is dangerous for lots of reasons, including injury to arteries. 

So the absolute bottom line to me is that I must, absolutely must, start losing weight again. I’m convinced that is really all there is to it – at least for my body. 

What I believe from personal experience:

1. The main cause of gaining weight is eating too many calories. The only way to lose weight is to reduce calories. Calories are, whether we like it or not, the begin all and end all of weight control. 

2. Exercise plays some role, but not a major role. If you burn a lot of calories then yes, you can eat more and still lose weight. But if you are doing 30-45 minutes of exercise per day like I am, it’s only a couple of hundred calories. And you can easily overestimate calories burned if you are not careful. Exercise is probably good for overall health, but it’s a minor factor in weight lose for most people. The main factor is how much you eat. 

3. I don’t think it matters what kinds of food you eat. What matters most is eating foods that satisfy while keeping calories under control. For me that generally means higher protein foods. 

4. Recent research has shown that there really is no connection between what you eat and your cholesterol values. After I went vegan + no oil in 2012 my cholesterol did not drop. It wasn’t until I started taking one statin a day that my cholesterol came way down. Even now, after regaining so much weight, my total cholesterol and LDL values are very low. 

5. While mostly satisfying, the vegan diet did have some problems. My weight lose basically halted after a point, even though I was still borderline overweight/obese according to my BMI values. I attribute this to trying to avoid hunger by eating too much rice or oatmeal. These are not helpful for a diet. 

6. Grains are high in calories, low in protein, have a high glycemic index, and trigger hunger. They ultimately don’t satisfy. Brown rice is no better than white rice for this. I don’t believe whole grains are better for weight lose than processed grains. 

7. Diets which forbid or highly restrict a particular variety of food cause you to crave that food. 

Anyway, what I’m going to try starting this morning is the only reliable way I know to actually lose weight. I still don’t know how to solve the problem of keeping it off later. Maybe I’ll try meditation. Or yoga. Something I haven’t tried before. But first things first. 

So as of today I’m officially no longer vegan (which I haven’t completely been for a while anyway). 

I’m going to rigorously log all calories. 

I’m not going to eat anything unless I truly have an honest knowledge of how many calories there are. 

I’m going to eat any kind of food – so long as it is within my calorie limit. 

I’m not going to exceed my calorie limit, no matter the occasion. 

To keep hunger under control I’m going to concentrate on foods I know are filling and have lower calories, including eggs, fish, chicken, sweet potatoes, edamame – anything that fits into my calorie limit. I will not forbid any particular kind of food. 

I will tend to avoid grains, including whole grains, because they are not filling, have little nutritional value and have too many calories. 

I’ll continue exercising. 

And that’s it. 

Support from friends is welcome as I try to get weight under control. But no diet advice please. Seriously – I’ve heard it all. Everybody is different and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. And I don’t want to argue with people about it. 

Writing this on my iPhone took me almost all the way to Hachioji this morning!