Back to the neverending topic of weight loss and exercise, the NYT spotlights research that seems to come from the “well, duh” department: the secret to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume.
The main problem today is, people have no idea what they’re consuming. As the article points out:
“The message of our work is really simple,” although not agreeable to hear, Melanson said. “It all comes down to energy balance,” or, as you might have guessed, calories in and calories out. People “are only burning 200 or 300 calories” in a typical 30-minute exercise session, Melanson points out. “You replace that with one bottle of Gatorade.”
Most people I know go through 4-5 cans of soda per day. I personally have felt a lot better, and noticed myself getting trimmer (and wanting to exercise more regularly thereby!) when I gave myself one simple rule: don’t stock soda cans in the house. I have juice, I have milk, and that’s it. Generally, after a glass of juice or milk, I don’t feel the need for more than water afterwards; if I drink soda, I find myself thinking “hey, I want another soda.”
I switched to using smaller bowls and smaller plates, and doling out smaller portions (I have “soup bowls” that are wide but shallow but have a circular imprint in the center, so I only fill the imprint and use some whole-grain bread to sop up the gravy from whatever I cooked).
This is not to say that these are easy things. Sticking your giant-sized bowls and glasses “out of the way” and replacing them is an expense, though not that expensive ($20 at Ikea replaced pretty much what I needed for daily use). Cutting how much you eat may require “feeling hungry” for a while as your body adjusts. But the research is clear; “inability to lose weight even though exercising” is much less likely to indicate that you have some hormonal/metabolic issue, and much more likely to indicate that you’re finding some hidden source of calories and not accurately measuring your caloric input or how many calories you’re burning.