Fitness

Fitness Trackers Gone Wrong

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The fitness trackers tell us that if we burned off 2000 calories and we eat 1500 calories, we will lose weight. The flaw is that not all calories are created the same.

Oh sure, if you are a physicist, ALL calories are created equal. BUT… you would not plan on a launching a rocket into space burning broccoli. By the same token, if you just burned off 2000 calories but ate 1500 calories in processed carbohydrates, your body’s reaction – the hyperglycemia that causes the hyperinsulinemia (high blood sugar causing high insulin secretion) causes the calories you just ate to be stored as rapidly as possible in the form of fat, EVEN THOUGH YOU ATE LESS THAN YOU BURNED. The net result is more fat deposition.

Weight loss and weight management is not, and never will be, a simple, one-size-fits-all scenario. Sorry. This is where the concept behind fitness trackers comes up short. You can’t just count calories; you also have to track the type of food the calorie came from, whether protein, carbs, or fat.

There is an increasing body of data indicating a high-protein diet is THE diet to lose weight. There has also always been data that shows focused, organized activity like sports or fitness exercises, are an essential component of any successful weight management program.

So here’s a suggestion: get a fitness tracker if you want. If nothing else, it will keep you honest and accountable. Just don’t fall into the oversimplification trap that that if you simply eat less than you burn, you will lose weight. Protein will be your best ally.

And guess what? Body builders have known that nugget for ages! –

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About Dr. Michael Dimayuga

M.D., Internal Medicine Specialist - Clinical Instructor at Yale University 1990-1991 Chief Resident; Griffin Hospital Yale University School of Medicine, and more than 25 years practicing internal medicine. NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Premier Diploma 2006.

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