As many of y’all know, I’m one of those guys who struggles with weight. My BMI has been hovering around 24, or on the very low end of “Overweight” for the last few years, which is down from ~29 when I came out of the Navy full time. I dropped most of the 20 lbs that I’ve managed to keep off in 2005 when I spent about 6 months religiously counting calories. Since then, I’ve maintained (Actually, crept up from ~165 to ~173 in 2008) weight despite gradually increasing the number of miles I was doing.
Dilbert’s author (with the awesome blog) links today to a Time article that confirms something that Brent had tweeted earlier today (Yesterday? darn insomnia) – that “exercise doesn’t do much for weight loss”.
The article itself is pretty good, with the money quote (for me) as:
“They’re like, ‘Ah, I’m running an hour a day, and I’m not losing any weight.'” He asks them, “What are you doing after you run?” It turns out one group of friends was stopping at Starbucks for muffins afterward. Says Church: “I don’t think most people would appreciate that, wow, you only burned 200 or 300 calories, which you’re going to neutralize with just half that muffin.”
Brent’s observation that “I get so dang hungry” is right on with my experience. The article kind of addresses that too, saying that “Self-control is like a muscle … If you force yourself to jog for an hour, your self-regulatory capacity is proportionately enfeebled. Rather than lunching on a salad, you’ll be more likely to opt for pizza.”
I tend to be a bit more optimistic than that; however, self-control being the muscle that it is, needs to be exercised as consciously and as diligently as we log miles.
So, I’m going to re-start my food log – it worked for the first 20 lbs; hopefully I can squeeze out another 20 lbs before my 20th high-school reunion.