There is an epidemic of obesity in many countries such as the US and Western Europe. Although studies have supported the role of genetics, our genes have been the same for thousands of years, but only recently has obesity increased. It appears that reduced physical activity, rather than increased food intake, is the major culprit and the difference is about 300 Calories a day, which could be offset by an hour of easy cycling per day.
In an 8-year-old project that has studied weight loss in 3500 extremely obese patients who lost (and maintained the loss) of an average of 60+ pounds. The common factor was a high level of physical activity with an average weekly expenditure of 2545 exercise Calories in women and 3293 Calories in men (equal to an hour of moderate physical activity per day) coupled with an estimated intake of 1500 Calories per day.
These Calories were eaten in 4 or 5 small meals throughout the day rather than skimping on breakfast and lunch and then eating a large meal at night. Plus it was a low fat diet with only about 20% of total Calories coming from fat.
Most had failed to maintain their weight loss with other weight loss regimens, and almost universally attributed the success in this program to the sustained increase in their weekly level of physical activity.
Physical activity undoubtedly has a positive effect on your weight and figure by:
- increasing energy output and Caloric expenditure
- supressing your appetite
- increasing Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- maintaining lean body mass at the expense of fat
The basic premise of all weight control programs is that weight loss occurs when the number of Calories "burned" over a 24 hour period is greater than the number consumed. The net deficit results in weight loss. (1 pound of body fat = 3500 Calories)
WEIGHT LOSS (IN LBS) = (CALORIES BURNED - CALORIES CONSUMED)/3500