Will Power to Control Compensation Weight Gain Effect

24 11 2009
Walk and See all Around You.

Walk and See all Around You.

Your body’s health and appearance is dependent on many lifestyle habits and behaviors especially as you age.  With regard to diet and exercise, food intake and calorie burn through physical activity inevitably becomes a compensation-Will Power challenge.  Mind over body then becomes much more of a will power issue not to consume the “wrong types and quantities” of foods after an exercise, or activity event.  This issue will attempt to defeat your will power to stay on body weight target.  Compensation effect simply means if your body burns calories it will also want to replace them by telling the hunger center in the brain to eat more.  Your brain begins to beg you to stop the screaming fat cells from causing you agony and to satisfy them.  Scary little guys these fat cell monsters!

I’ve known for some time that exercise alone would not be the sole factor in body weight maintenance, or weight loss.  When I was working on my Exercise Science undergraduate degree, one thing I did learn is in order to maintain healthy body equilibrium especially as we age, requires a “customized” multidisciplinary healthy life program.  This program consists of exercise-activity, nutrition and healthy living lifestyle to meet body fitness requirements.  This multi-discipline approach is necessary for successful weight loss and body weight regulation at any age.  My take on exercise products sold on TV as I’ve stated in previous articles…  They won’t provide you a significant weight loss result, and especially without proper nutrition and healthy living habits.  If you’re serious about losing weight, don’t waste your money on exercise TV product gimmicks.  Instead, consider buying a gym membership and apply aerobic activity using various types of aerobic equipment to accomplish body weight goals. 

For those of you without much experience in a gym, look to purchase a few 1:1 fitness trainer sessions for weight loss programming and/or need motivation, etc.  Look for local fitness center promotion specials to run end of year and spring.  Also, learn to become a smart nutrition and healthy eating habit consumer by doing your own healthy weight management nutrition research.  For example, use the Internet and research under fit/healthy” weight loss tips and recommendations.  Also consider visiting your local book store/library, or take a community college nutrition/health fitness course, etc.  Consider purchasing fitness training books and videos geared around weight loss activities using aerobic bike, bike, walking, swimming, treadmill, etc., if the gym is not for you.  Or if dollars are tight, simply start a daily walking program.

When I mention TV exercise gimmicks they are exercise equipment that are non aerobic in nature and specifically work on body toning, not fat burning! For example, abs, hip-buttocks-chin specific exercise equipment.  Also I know you all know my favorite aerobic activity is walking and it always will be.  Walking in my opinion is the best cardiovascular, fat burning, low stress-fun, and low impact exercise available to all that can walk!  Healthy centurions have this one lifelong habit activity in common.  This is one of the least stressful aerobic fat burning activities and burns the greatest amount of fat per time spent on activity (swimming included).  It is my experience that walking causes the least amount of hunger pain if it is not done with high intensity (speed walking).  This is because the body will shift to greater fat burning as a fuel source preference during low intensity large muscle activity (legs).  The hunger center in the brain won’t know the difference when the body’s glucose-glycogen fuel source shifts more to a “stored-released” triglyceride fat burning process.

I walk almost every day, own some fitness equipment and have a fitness center membership.  I’ve found fitness activity variety keeps boredom abbey by breaking up my daily routines.  This helps immensely with my daily motivation to stay on healthy body weight target.  To walk, it doesn’t cost anything but time and good foot ware that should include excellent sole inserts.  See our chronic pain center and click on the posture, or foot image to get more information on “Posture Control Insoles.”  Gym memberships are nice because the sky is the limit on aerobic equipment choices.  If interested in fitness memberships look for one that has a swimming pool within the facility.   You can truly customize a fitness training weight loss program that’s right for any age at reasonable rates.

Always keep in mind the compensation effect.  If you exercise, regardless of activity you’ll always feel hungry approximately 1 hour after activity.  This is because most work done in the gym tends to become quick pace through daily conditioning.  Think about it.  You want to finish getting on to the home relaxation phase of your day, so you push your body to get out of the gym.  In essence you begin to exercise at a greater intensity rate which more closely resembles cardiovascular and anaerobic activity that will burn greater quantities of quick fuel sources; cretin phosphate, glucose-glycogen making you hungrier faster.  However, if your routine is mostly aerobic you’ll burn body fat and more of it at lower aerobic intensity rates.

In knowing that daily aerobic conditioning will naturally spur higher work training intensities, you can be prepared for hunger pains if you begin pushing yourself at this level.   In order to gage the best fat burning intensity and reduce severe hunger pains… Don’t train at intensities that make you out of breath, or make it hard to carry on a conversation.  Also if you’re THR (Target Heart Rate) zone peaks into a high intensity cardiovascular training zone for your age; understand you are not maximizing your body’s fat burning potential.  Ask your fitness trainer about THR, or simply research this term on the Internet to best understand and manage fat burning potential through aerobic activity.

I do have a solution to help you out in the hunger department as you will want to be adequately armed before the hunger pains hit regardless of your THR training intensity.  I’ve found, especially after the work out “the calorie burn compensation effect to replace the spent calories does impact us all at various levels of hunger pain.  The goal is to fool the brain with low calorie nutritious fillers that will curve appetite and strengthen will power to avoid pounding down fats and empty calories to satisfy the screaming fat cells. 

Whether the aerobic exercise is walking, biking, swimming, repetitive low resistance circuit training, etc., I know I’ll always be hungry after 90 minutes because my body is conditioned to work out more intensely during activity.  So if you can’t get your hands on fruit or vegetables, you can get water down your gullet.  Although water won’t fully satisfy the fat cell compensation screaming in your mind, a pint of water will stop this hunger feeling rather fast as the bloated stomach technique will temporarily fool the brain.  Besides, water is good for you… Let’s not forget this.  I know it’s boring.  I know you’d prefer an electrolyte drink.  Don’t do this often in the gym as electrolyte drinks have enough calories in them to compensate back to your body what you just burnt.  However, electrolyte drinks are great for high intensity aerobic-training endurance events where sodium and potassium levels in the blood can be reduced significantly and require replacement.  In these types of high intensity cardiovascular activities fat burning is not the fitness goal.

One thing I’m sure many of you may not know.  Many times when your brain tells you it’s hungry, it’s not, and your body is really thirsty.  So give the water gulping session serious consideration frequently while you work out.  This will help.  This water gut blot sensation will provide a feeling of fullness relieving hunger sensations while rehydrating the body.

However, beware; water is easily absorbed through the stomach and intestinal lining.  So this is a temporary fill to fool your mind’s hunger pains and rehydrate the body.  It’s not the cure all solution to defeat the calorie compensation effect that will ultimately result once the body is adequately worked and watered down.  Water in the stomach to fool your brain is like putting water in a strainer that’s lined with cheese cloth.  In other words, you don’t have much time before your brain tells you you’re hungry once the water quickly absorbs into the body.   You have approximately 10-15minutes max before your fat cells say “FEED ME, once the body is adequately hydrated!”  If you give in to the jelly donut, or pepperoni pizza, compensation effect wins over “will power and body weight discipline.”

Will you have the discipline and will power to fight off gorging yourself with the wrong foods, especially on a weekend?  Ah, here’s the question.  I highly recommend you find a nutritious food bar, or shake that’s high in protein and fiber to hold you over between meals.  This is like eating many mini-meals between the main meals.  You’ll find your body won’t be screaming from shear hunger, while reducing total daily calories and body weight.  There are many products to choose from… But you’ll want the fiber and protein because these low calorie high nutrient combinations will fool your brain for longer periods of time.  Good quality food bars, fruits and veggies work great after workouts and curving hunger in between meals.

I’ve also found that by taking a water bottle with me filled with a couple scoops of fiber source drink is a good emergency fix to satisfy a hunger attack when my compensation metabolism tells me I’m starving.  The beauty with this fix, you can carry the fiber powder around in the bottle forever until you add water.  When you have a hunger attack and you can’t wait to make that family dinner, fill the bottle with water, shake and chug that fiber drink.  Yummy!  “Well yummy is debatable, I did that for effect.”

Really, there are good fiber drinks out there in all flavors.  Look for fiber drinks that pack at least 3-5grams per serving.  Once you use your emergency compensation stomach fill solution to satisfy brain hunger, be sure to reload the bottle prior to the next fitness training session.  It is very frustrating to look in your gym bag, or back pack to find an empty fiber, or protein powder bottle.  I can’t tell you how many times I went for the quick food solution that was not there.  Instead I broke down and loaded up with a saturated fat attack, heart stopping gut buster.  My lack of will power won that day.  More the reason to stock an arsenal of various powder drinks in ready premix bottles and power bars at the ready.  I like to use old water bottles instead of tossing them after I drink the water.   I take 3-4 of them, load two with electrolyte and 2 with fiber-protein powders where they stay in dry storage (in the capped bottle)  until I need them.  I usually keep them in my car, or gym bag.  Just add water, shake and drink.

Also visit your libraries and read, or purchase books on how to improve will power while modifying behavioral habits towards food cravings.  To be aware of the mind over body compensation fact will help you recognize you’ll need to find other low calorie diet substitutes and behavioral strategies that will stave off hunger cravings during and after your aerobic training sessions.  Also drink more water in a day, eat more frequently throughout the day in smaller portions, get more fiber in your diet and don’t eat in front of the TV, “only at the dinner table!”  Finding what works for you and sticking to it is a big part of fitness and weight-diet management success. By applying the techniques in which I speak will allow you proper preplanning prior to aerobic fitness training and weight management success.  You’ll also better understand will power compensation effect while reducing body weight in a healthy habit approach.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Exercising for Weight Loss a Myth?

22 09 2009

Do you recall seeing commercials or reading magazine advertisements where exercise gadgets and specialized exercise programs promise great weight loss results?  Well if you haven’t, let me tell you weight loss exercise products are big business for ex-celebrities in the entertainment and sports industries.  Remember the thigh and abs flex products that promoted inches will melt away around these areas while leading you to believe this would be the result of the entire body!  After all, the models used in the sales pitch appear to be perfectly lean specimens.

 Look around your house and count how many unused exercise gadgets, exercise equipment and books you have lying dormant in your home.  Why do these products lay around the home collecting dust?  And if these products did not work for you why did you not return the product?  Most of these exercise weight loss products guarantee great results by your favorite celebrity.  You were lead to believe if you follow the typical 4-12 week exercise product program you would see great results, well did you?  It is also interesting to note most guarantees have a 30-90 (4-12 weeks) day satisfaction return policy, no questions asked.  If the product didn’t produce the results was it because they actually didn’t work, or that you didn’t give an honest effort, or would it have mattered whether you used the product or not?  Regardless, the product is sitting in your home now dormant.

 Could it be you blame your lack of motivation to use the product that ran out the warranty?  Maybe you used the product as instructed without great, or no results, but in fact gained more weight.  Possibly the relatively small dollar amount of the purchase didn’t seem worth the effort to send it back.  In each example, you disregarded the warranty.

 In any case, most of us have been conditioned to believe exercise is the key to great weight loss success.    Product sales pitches that use the science of exercise as a weight loss product concept have been misleading consumers desperate to lose weight for years.  Yet those that are desperate want to believe the hype because they believe this premise is based on hard scientific fact!  Marketers and your favorite celebs take full advantage of desperate and emotional overweight people that are not educated in exercise science!

 Yes, exercise science is a real undergraduate degree program offered in many universities, also known as exercise physiology.  I have a B.S. degree in this discipline, so this is true if you’d never heard of it before.  These marketers are smart.  They know how to slant the rhetoric leading you to believe they actually care about you.  Remember, many of your celebs are banking on this pitch to make them more money as well!  Weight loss through exercise alone could not be further from the truth!

 What do the marketers know about sales, physiology and psychology that most of us do not think about?  They know how to target an audience and that the younger demographic will have a weight loss result that can be further promoted to increase future sales.  They know this is so because if a younger demographic with fast metabolisms actually works any type of exercise product program a good majority of these people will have some kind of result.  I know, you’re thinking I said, “Exercise for weight loss is a myth.”  You’ll soon have the full story, patience.

 Haven’t you noticed the before and after shots on the infomercials?  Most of these people appear to be between the ages of 18-35 years of age.  And as science has proven in many controlled studies, the human metabolisms before the age of 35 are pretty responsive to increased activity.  However, weight loss results within “any age” demographic seem to have more to do with the psychology of weight loss desire then does the use of any singular, or combination of exercise product(s). Desire to lose weight within any age range is mostly to do about motivating psychological desires:  The dating scene, interview for job, want youthful look back, vanity, health, you name it there are many reasons to motivate a person to lose weight through behavior and lifestyle activity changes. 

 In other words, if you have motivation and desire to lose weight, you may be more prone to reduce weight through a combination of lifestyle changes including the use of exercise equipment and/or products.  For example, nutritional diet changes, smoking, alcohol cessation, shift to healthier environmental-social influences-activities, exercise aerobic-anaerobic activity changes (type, frequency, duration, intensity).  The sum of the total changes typically has a greater calorie burn response leading to weight loss.

 On the flip side, science has proven exercise makes people hungrier.  And because of this compensation effect, what leaves the body must eventually be replaced to maintain body comfort equilibrium.  For most of us over 35, this is our will power weakness defeating our motivation to lose weight, or making weight loss goals more challenging as we age.  This is because the sacrifice of feeling hunger to achieve weight loss results becomes much more difficult on the psyches will power with age.

 For those that maintain great results for a life time after being overweight, or experienced a period(s) of obesity may have sacrificed some part of the overall health for the result.  What do I mean by this statement?  Whenever the body is stressed beyond an equilibrium comfort level to achieve long-term results; it’s not the maintenance of maintaining the weight loss results so much that stresses the body’s metabolism.  It’s the initial stress on mind-body that can create internal metabolic (bodies homeostatic system) harm while achieving quick weight loss results.  Yet there are others that never have had a weight problem and never exercised in their lives.  This may only be attributed to great genetics and/or simply living a moderate active lifestyle while minimizing risky behavior, or combinations of both.

 With continued stress the body may lose weight in an unhealthy manner that can and does lead to illness and disease.  I know all of you have heard of yo-yo dieting and the ill-effects of practicing such weight loss practices.  The goal here is not to discuss poor dieting practices, but instead attempt to help the consumer understand; exercise alone, regardless of exercise equipment, product or technique does not have a significant impact on your weight loss goals because of the “compensation effect” (calories burnt demand to be replaced).  Even if you are an aerobic junky, you must look at your entire lifestyle picture.  The picture of your lean weight loss results is more to do with your age, race, sex, genetics, lifestyle habits and behaviors. 

 This is not to state that exercise products don’t promote any positive health benefits.  In fact, we know that exercise lower risks for many types of diseases, especially within the cardiovascular system, prevention of diabetes and cancer.  Exercise is also excellent for body toning, strength, and muscular endurance, postural alignment which contributes to overall good health and pain alleviation.  Whatever your experience with exercise weight loss products the reason you accumulate these things, most likely you believe they will either work again, or when you’re ready to use them the weight loss results will be achieved. 

 The marketers understand there will be a small percentage of you that will try the program and turn the product back within the guarantee time.  However, this means nothing to them.  The discipline of sending back a product before the warranty expires is very small regardless of customer dissatisfaction.  After all, most of you have been conditioned to believe exercise is necessary to lose weight.  They also know you don’t blame your favorite celebrity because you admire them and they look fantastic.  The pitch people continue to mislead the exercise science weight loss rhetoric slanted in their favor sometimes using professionally paid sponsored credentials.  So your weight problem must be solely due to your inability to exercise exactly as your favorite celebrity or intended use as specified within the instructions.  Wrong!

 To add insult to injury, those selling the exercise products are banking on most of you never understanding the calorie compensation effect on weight control and will power.  This way you’ll continue to purchase the latest hype exercise products from your favorite celebrity in hopes that something may work for you down the road.  One thing is for sure, you will keep them fat and happy rolling in dough.  The cycle continues on.  Amazing!

 Does exercise to reduce body weight on its own work, or is this line of thinking a myth?  You decide after reading my next article. “Science Proves Exercise Alone May Promote Weight Gain.”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.