This blog is for and about the Webster family. Each of us want to make choices every day that will result in optimal health and fitness. We represent different generations and different places in life - from empty-nesters to young families to students. Our health goals are as varied as we are, but we want to have a common place to post our progress and our challenges. We will be accountable to each other - to provide support, design incentives, share information we come across, and in general cheer each other on and celebrate our steps toward fitness! If anyone happens upon this blog and is inspired to be more fit and healthy that is icing on the cake. So here we go!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kathy - Truth Number 1

Here is the promised sequel to the previously posted article.

Truth #!:

Burning calories in the gym is (almost) a waste of time.

Sure, burning calories is great.  But the energy you expend in the gym isn't as big a deal as those LED readouts on the treadmill might make it seem.  In fact, we all have three distinct types of "burns" that make up our metabolism.  Burn #1 - Basal (resting) metabolism.  Your basal metabolism accounts for 60-75% of your overall metabolism.  Surprisingly, it represents the calories you burn doing nothing at all. It's fueled by your heart beating, your lungs working to breath, and even your cells dividing.

Burn #2 - Digestive metabolism.  This burn results from the thermic effect of food or TEF.  Simply digesting food - converting carbohydrates to sugar and protein to amino acids - typically burns 10% of your daily calories.  You burn more calories digesting protein that you do digesting carbohydrates and fat - about 25 calories for every 100 consumed, versus zero to 10 for carbs and fat.

Burn #3 - Exercise and movement metabolism.  This part of your metabolism includes your gym workouts and other physical activities such as jogging or playing softball (called "exercise-activity thermogenesis" or EAT).  It also includes your countless incidental movements throughout the day, like turning the pages of a book ("non-exercise-activity thermogenesis" or NEAT).

So why is it so hard to lose weight just by exercising? Why do you see so many overweight people in the gym?  The answer is simple.  Exercise and movement account for only 15-30% of your fat burn.  Up to 85% of your calorie burn in a given day has nothing to do with moving your body.  But that doesn't mean you should skip the gym - you just need to know how to make exercise work for you.  The fact is, exercise can play an important role in preparing Muscle to conquer its greatest threat - Fat, of course.  

Stay tuned for 2 more Truths!

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