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When dieting, healthy eating is not enough
07.03.2012Despite the best efforts of healthcare and wellness programs, obesity rates continue to rise. About two-thirds of all adults are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A group of researchers says that this is because many people have a misunderstanding of how to lose weight.
Experts from the University of Colorado wrote in an article published in the latest issue of Circulation that the key to losing weight is maintaining what they referred to as "energy balance." Individuals have reached energy balance when they burn as many calories each day as they consume.
Currently, many people assume that they can lose weight simply by cutting calories. While this does get a person closer to energy balance, it does not finish the job. In order to achieve true balance, individuals need to exercise much more than they currently do. The fact that so few people meet recommendations for daily physical activity keeps many from reaching energy balance, which makes weight loss efforts less successful.
"A healthy body weight is best maintained with a higher level of physical activity than is typical today and with an energy intake that matches," said lead researcher James Hill. "We are not going to reduce obesity by focusing only on reducing food intake. Without increasing physical activity in the population we are simply promoting unsustainable levels of food restriction."
He said that the focus on limiting caloric intake is the primary reason why obesity rates remain so high and why most people have a very difficult time losing weight.
Individuals who have joined healthcare and wellness programs in the hopes of slimming down should keep in mind the importance of increasing physical activity in addition to eating healthier.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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