Monday, January 10, 2005


Putting the Die in Diet

Since I see a lot of people in my practice with obesity and it's complications (Diabetes, HTN, Degenerative Arthritis) I've decided to post my opinion on the subject of weight loss.

Weight loss is simple Thermodynamics. If you take less energy in than you expend, you loss, if not, you gain. Simple right? Well running the Boston marathon sounds simple, it's the doing it part that will leave you on the roadside sucking-wind.

I want to focus on the energy-in part first. I'm not a fan of any type of diet other than the simple food pyramid, with one exception (which I'll get to in a moment). The food pyramid can't be beat as long as you know what serving sizes are. People don't pay attention to serving sizes anymore. They perform the same function of calorie control as do the Adkins, south beach, Mayo, or any others do, but with a better balance of nutrients than the others.

There is one caveat that I would change about the food pyramid that Adkins and some others do get right. Get rid of the refined sugar. We were not made to digest refined sugar (the crack of the food kingdom). It's too hard on the pancreas to deal with dumping pure sugar into our blood stream. I know it sounds Draconion, but it's the truth. Try it, go 72 hours without sweets (if you're not diabetic) and see how you feel.

The energy-out (exercise) part is just as important as the diet. Exercise breaks down into 2 major parts: Aerobic (cardio. training) and Anaerobic (Resistance training).

I will be called a heretic in some circles, but aerobic fitness is the more important of the two. Noone ever died from a weak bicep, but plenty have died from a weak heart. Whatever aerobic training you decide to do, be consistent, your heart has a very short term memory. Most calories are burned during the exercise, not at rest. Aerobic exercise doesn't increase your basil metabolic rate much. And hey, have fun, it could be worse.

I cannot understate the need for resistance training in weight management enough. Not only do you burn calories while you lift, but the increase in muscle mass increases your basil metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories at rest. Even a very modest resistance training program will cover a multitude of dietary sins. Look around the web and find what particular exercises appeal to you, and if it's O.K. with your M.D., have at it. One note though, and again I will have scorn heaped on me for this, but take care of your back. If you chose any back exercises use proper body mechanics or don't even bother doing them. again have fun, it could be worse.

I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about american diabetes) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about american diabetes related articles and subjects.
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