On Friday evening, my husband suggested I watch a TED talk which has, quite literally, melted my brain.
What this talk does is explain how we lose weight. If you haven’t ever wondered where the fat goes when you get lighter, this talk is for you. Yes, you will get an exchange of fat for muscle, if your body has the ability to do so easily. However, most of your weight is exhaled. Yeah, just take a moment to grasp the amazing nature of that claim, and then watch this surfing Australian chemist BLOW YOUR MIND. Effectively it does not matter what else happens (within reason, of course) as long as you
a) eat less
b) exercise more and
c) KEEP BREATHING
The key is c) in this equation: the harder you work, the more you breathe, and (potentially) the more weight gets lost. Of course, this is hardly groundbreaking: however, what this explanation did for me was reinforce the basic point of exercise.
I watch people at the gym pretending to do just that, far more often than should be the norm. By that, we’re talking about those who turn up, use equipment, but never push your heart-rate to a point where you have to breathe heavily. They don’t sweat, or indeed look as if there is any kind of removal from their comfort zones. This, by the strict definition of our science above, won’t let them lose weight. However, most of these people have no need to in the first place. These are the appearance exercisers: probably not eating enough to require major exertion, yet still aware their bodies need to be aired on a regular basis.
They look fit and healthy, but is this really true?
I sweat like a pig when exercising, and always have. It is not pretty either, but what this does is make it aware to me whether the amount of effort expended is sufficient. As time has gone on, it takes increasing amounts of effort to reach the same point. However, on some days, you need very little. Those are the ones where I have breathing difficulties, or I’m less than 100% physically together. This scientific revelation means that every day has the potential for weight loss, if there’s the ability to grasp what body is capable of doing. Most significantly of all, steps have become completely irrelevant to my notion of exercise.
That will take some getting used to.
12k (which is my step goal) is achieved by a walk to and from the Gym, a couple of miles on the Octane machine and 30 minutes on the Treadmill. Except I could complete all of this and never really expend that much energy by doing so, and create the impression of exercise. Today therefore I made every step count, adding an incline to my workout, and almost fell off the treadmill. I can therefore attest that these 12,000 steps burnt a lot of calories, and that every subsequent time I go and exercise anywhere, that is what is going to happen.
Knowledge is a wonderful thing, but it is even better at that moment when you truly grasp the significance of what you have learnt, and then how to utilise that for yourself.