Diet, exercise, sleep and stress: what affects weight more?
How many of us consistently eat poorly and try and run it off the following week; or binge eat junk food late one night and hit the gym hard the next day in a desperate attempt to burn it all off?
Only all of us!
But what if we are going about things all wrong? Deakin University, and many others are starting to explore the fact that diet has just as much, if not a higher role to play in weight gain and loss, than purely exercise alone.
Although exercise does help on many levels of health and fitness, think about it this way, one 100g chocolate bar or fast food item containing around 2200kj, can be eaten in under a minute, which could fuel a normal sedentary office worker or house bound person for around five hours, and would also take a 90-minute walk or 7km run to burn off! Anything eaten on top of this, would probably be then stored as fat.
And if we look at another factor: many studies have found increases in stress contribute to weight gain, and the same is true for sleep-deprived individuals.
People who do not have enough quality sleep tend to eat more processed and sugary foods, searching for that missing energy kick. While their metabolism and hormones are also changed from the lack of sleep, which, in turn, additionally affects their weight.
So it seems, when talking about weight loss, long-term success is achieved by sticking to a combination of factors:
-Eat more wholefoods= foods which haven’t been changed or processed in any way.
-Eat more fresh vegetables.
-Decrease sweets and fast foods.
-Decrease portion size.
-Increase regular exercise.
-Increase good quality sleep.
Photo: Organic fresh fruit and veg box from FROG organics from Hervey Bay, QLD.
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BOUT THE AUTHOR
Honor is a qualified naturopathic Nutritionist and health writer. She is very passionate about nutrition and health, and has been working in the field for almost 20 years.
Honor is the head nutrition writer for the multi-national Fitness First magazine, which won best app for an iPhone & tablet device in 2011 for the ‘Magazine excellence awards’.
Honor also has her own ‘Ask Honor’ column and weekly health article in the APN newspapers for The Fraser Coast Chronicle and Observer in QLD.
She designs weight loss meals and menu’s for Sydney based food manufacturer Core Food Concepts.
Honor has lectured and supervised the Nutritional medicine students at one of Sydney’s largest Natural therapies college’s- Nature Care College.
You can follow her and many of her articles on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/HonorTremain