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Old 08-30-2009, 12:58 PM   #16  
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Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
One way to look at the equation is to think about what elite athletes....

Even high level athletes who exercise six or seven hours a day watch what they eat and are careful not to eat too much junk food lest they put on weight.

I have friends who are triatheletes and they also don't eat huge amounts of food.
So true.

We just don't require all that much food to live, thrive and survive. Our bodies were not set up for large quantities of food, probably to protect us. I think for many, that idea kind of backfired.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:43 PM   #17  
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Thanks everyone for the responses.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:01 PM   #18  
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The human body requires a certain energy load to survive. That is, it needs to breath, to digest, to excrete, the heart needs to pump, the muscles used involuntarily for things like muscle contraction and swallowing need to work. This accounts for the largest use of energy from either the food you eat or stored energy waiting to be used (fat). So imagine a ruler with 75% filled in. You have 25% left. 15% of this is "invoulentary" movement. Things like tapping your toes, and turning in your sleep. People who fidget a lot use up a lot of energy here in the 15% area. The last 10% is your "daily activity if you are sedentary.

If you are exersising 5 hours a day at a pretty heavy pace (lets imagine you are a road crew worker who works a back-hoe in the hot sun all day). You are probably burning that last 10% and then some-- of course, if that last 10% comes out of the 2000 calories you usually eat with 75% going to regular functions, and you have a 3% body fat, you will probably need a lot of extra food, so you might raise your calorie load to 2,300 and get awau with it. If you get fired and still eat 2,300 calories you will gain weight.

People usually do not run the back-hoe. Working in the gym for 1/2 hour is probably bringing you to a "normal" level of activity, and won't burn off a lot of energy. Climbing a mountain over a 7 hour period will burn off a lot more energy.

Rockinrobin is correct. We were not really meant to eat "alot" of food. I even really disagree with the 3 meal a day theory. We are, however built to run or walk marathons-- remember the ancient people who walked from a summer camp to a winter camp? Or the ones who went across great expanses to hunt? People can walk quite a distance on very little food. That's kind of interesting.

The way I figure it, if a person is 50 pounds overweight, they are walking around with 87.5 days worth of the daily caloric needs of a person needing 2000 calories. To diet that away, you need to either not eat for 87 days, or cut down on what you eat without interfering with the 75% of food you need to function (heart beat and so on).

Or, you can use that 87 days worth by exersising. Running 5 miles a day will burn off 1000 calories (200 calories per mile). You still need to eat the 2000 calories, but the 1000 calories are coming from the spare fat supply.

If you run 5 miles a day, you will take about 175 days to burn off that extra fat It is probably a lot harder than that, so give it at least a year.

So-- what I am saying is that it is easier to burn off the weight with real exersise (not just lifting weight at a gym-- although it helps). And very few sedentary people are interested in that much running. Restricting calories is okay, but in the long run it is just starvation, and not a good habit to get into.
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