1 January 2010

Food for Thought

Fat burning is free
‘People love to hear that certain foods, exercise and tablets are fat burning,’ says dietitian Glenn Cardwell.

Glenn Cardwell
Glenn Cardwell

‘Back in the early 1990s I was in the national media because I called fat metaboliser and fat mobiliser tablets a big fat scam. The response by the tablet manufacturers was quite clever. It was nothing. Not a word. No response meant that the story was dead in 24 hours. No response also meant that the manufacturers were acknowledging that their tablets were a scam, albeit a very lucrative one, and they didn’t have a scrap of evidence to justify their existence. They still don’t.

Fat burning is such a beautiful expression, because it implies that you require some outside influence to get you into a fat burning zone. Spoiler warning. Here is the truth. If you are currently breathing, you are burning fat. Asleep? Burning fat. Sitting? Burning fat. Watching telly? Burning fat. Fat burning is easy. Just breath.

To burn up excess fat is much harder. You will need to do much more activity to burn enough fat to lose weight. For most people, that will mean 60 minutes of activity a day. Yes, one hour. There it is again – the truth. Unpleasant news, yes?

The other side of the fat burning equation is food and drink. No food or drink will burn fat. Not one. Truth. Sure, there are adverts encouraging you to buy a book with all the ‘fat burning’ foods listed, like black tea, garlic, lettuce, celery, water, apples and by now you will have realised that they are all low calorie foods.

To burn fat you must eat less kilojoules than you burn through activity. How?

  1. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meat and very few cakes and biscuits, and eat only until you are no longer hungry (not until you are chockers). Do this all your life, not just four weeks.
  2. Do more exercise. In other words, if you buy a bicycle, you must then ride it. Frequently.
Cycling

As I said, fat burning is free. It requires change and a lot of hard work. Most people know this deep down, yet they prefer to buy hope and ignore the truth. However, the truth can be the best investment anyone ever made.’

Glenn Cardwell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Make sure you check out Glenn's website www.glenncardwell.com.

8 comments:

Anna said...

I fully agreed with every single word that Glenn Cardwell said. I'm a living testament of that and no effort whatsoever in doing so in my adult life of 40+ years. My only issue is I have problem in putting on weight and yes I do occasionally eat 'junk food'! Being a 61 yo, I stay about the same weight all these years. I always eat enough portion but eat every 3 hours or so. Albeit underweight, my family doctor indicates that I'm quite healthy with detailed annual medical check up.

marvin said...

I am having a hard time following those rules. But the advise is right. eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise often. I need more discipline to do this.

Anonymous said...

But it's New Year's Eve -- time for celebration! This is the night for chocolate and champagne.

Tomorrow, of course, will be a different story.

David said...

I would add my support. I am particularly interested in
"Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean meat and very few cakes and biscuits, and eat only until you are no longer hungry (not until you are chockers). Do this all your life, not just four weeks."

- baked goods are also a big "no-no" regarding trans fats, These are potentially worse than the saturated fats

- it is interesting that there is still a bit of a divide between the "all carbs are OK" practitioners and the "lo carb" ones. It is worth keeping your eye on the literature about the benefits vs. lack-of-benefits in terms of weight loss for high protein/low carbohydrate diets

- Glen highlights the behavioural changes that will keep us off the "yo-yo" pattern of weight loss-weight gain. We are constantly assaulted by calorie-dense foods while we are never going to expand the same amount of energy our ancestors did to obtain food so: (i) NEVER go shopping hungry; (ii) before you next contemplate a Mars bar convert the number of calories you are about to eat into the equivalent serve of whole foods and ask yourself "are you really that hungry?"

Anonymous said...

For me the truth came after many years of exercise and eating to lose weight. The way I have found to burn fat while breathing, sitting, etc., the body must be allowed to burn fat and not be involved with the digesting of food. Try - no do - FASTING. I recently turned 61 and have lost about 35 lbs. while doing FAST5.com and also doing CrossFit.com workouts. Google INTERMITTENT FASTING there is a lot of information for you to peruse and hopefully put into practice. My Doctor said my health numbers were good. I have convinced my whole family to FAST5 since seeing the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING 'ME'. Thank You Dr. Herring. I just wish I would have known about this when I was 25 years old.

Robert Pendergrast, MD said...

Well said Glenn; as a physician in practice for over 25 years, I have seen this scenario play out over and over again. The overweight people looking for a quick fix are soon back to their unhappy starting point; the people who change their behavior (food choices and physical activity) for life go on to a healthy leaner future and prevent diabetes and heart disease.

So my biggest job, as a physician practicing integrative medicine for all ages, is to empower people to change their behavior, to believe in themselves and their own ability to take charge of their health. Then they are no longer dependent on doctors (like me!) for their health.

Thanks again!

Robert Pendergrast, MD

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