The truth about weight and diets

weight-and-diet

Do you want simple tips to regulate your weight? Despite countless dietary advice and diets out there, your diet to maintain a healthy weight does not have to be difficult at all. The truth is that nutrition and weight control are much easier than many people think.

WRITTEN BY: JAN HELGERUD, PROFESSOR IN MEDICINE

Weight control is very easy

To be able to keep track of the highly complex relationship between food (that is, kilocalories (kcal) in) and energy consumed, you have a fantastic tool; a weight scale! If you gain weight, you have overeaten and/or moved too little. That’s how simple it actually is. Since I’m not going to sell you a “miracle cure”, I do not have the same need to make this more complicated than it actually is. It is almost impossible not to overeat if you are inactive. You must have a minimum of physical activity to ensure a natural regulation of food intake in relation to energy consumption.

Eat what you want!

In principle, almost all food is healthy, and all food is unhealthy. You can practically eat what you want whenever you want; if the energy is consumed, it is not dangerous. If you take in more nutrients than you consume, all the excess energy will be stored as fat. This is the case, even if it is healthy proteins, healthy carbohydrates or healthy fatty acids. If you do not stay active, it can have very negative health consequences. On the other hand, trained fat is not very dangerous, so when it smells like bacon, you are on the right track!

The relation between diet and activity

An active person consumes 2500-3000 kcal a day, while an inactive person only uses 1800-2000 kcal. A top athlete can get up to 8-9000 kcal per day. A food intake, for example, of 2500 kcal per day, will have completely different consequences for the three groups. The sofa wearer will constantly put on weight if he does not increase his activity level, while the active person keeps his weight or loses weight without changing his activity habits. For the top athlete, such an intake will make up less than 1/3 of the daily requirement, leading to acute hunger and dramatic consequences for further training.

Do not fear carbohydrates and fats

We all have our own engine that carries us around, and this can be measured in the form of your maximum oxygen uptake. That is, how good cardio levels are. When you eat food, you get the fuel for the engine. The most essential nutrients are carbohydrates (sugar) and fats, as the human engine usually uses a mixture of carbohydrates and fats as fuel. The intensity and duration of the work will determine the distribution. From rest and up to 80-90% of maximum oxygen uptake, there will always be a mixture. At higher intensities, only carbohydrates are used.

What about proteins?

Proteins are first and foremost “building blocks” in the body’s cells. In our daily activity, we can almost ignore proteins as fuel. However, in the event of prolonged hunger and during particularly prolonged physical activity, they can, to a certain extent, be included as “reserve provisions” for the limited stores of carbohydrates (5-10%). For every gram of protein, 4 kcal is released. Protein intake in excess, therefore, also leads to obesity!

What type of exercise burns the most?

Several studies show that you can improve your ability to convert fat by doing low-intensity work over a longer period of time (long-distance running, 50-80% of maximum heart rate). This allows you to work for a longer period of time before the carbohydrate stores run out (“glycogen saving”). On the other hand, recent research shows that the most important factor for total fat metabolism in the body is maximum oxygen uptake. Therefore, the paradox is that the best way to increase maximum oxygen uptake is interval training at high intensity, i.e. only carbohydrate conversion. The result of such training, on the other hand, is that your increased work capacity makes you a better fat burner in all your other activities.

weight and exercise

To perform in training, you are dependent on carbohydrates.

Your performance will be highly dependent on how large carbohydrate stores you have when the work begins. Diets high in fat and protein will reduce carbohydrate stores to a minimum, leading to reduced work intensity and rapid fatigue/exhaustion. If you want to be sure that the carbohydrate stores are at their peak, you can exercise slowly for 3 days combined with a large intake of carbohydrates and water.

If you want to secure a carbohydrate-rich food, you can do the following;

  • 2 meals with bread/cereal every day
  • Dark bread
  • Cereal mixture
  • Lots of accessories for hot dishes
  • Pasta / rice / noodles / potatoes
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Juice
  • Sports bar / biscuits / yoghurt

Tips for losing weight

If, on the other hand, you want to lose weight, you do not need to have full carbohydrate stores all the time. Full bearings last for three interval sessions 4×4 min. But do not try easy cures that only remove the carbohydrate stores. There are no shortcuts here. You need to eat less and/or consume more!  Unfortunately, the debate is characterized by unskilled spokespeople, but perhaps you do not want to know the truth? “Eat slim”, wonder pills that “remove fat”, “electrical stimulation makes it “unnecessary” to move, expensive diets, etc. Do not be fooled! Do not fear reason; this is your best advice if you really want to bring about lasting behavioral changes for weight control and a better lifestyle.