Posts Tagged ‘Weight loss’

df0d3c2abcdeaa0c_fruit_xxxlarge_1I found this article on www.fitsugar.com written by Jenny Sugar.  I thought this was insightful so I wanted to share it with you.  I agree with Jenny Sugar. . . what you keep in your kitchen and how you keep it can make or break you with your weight loss quest.  Maybe you can incorporate some of these tips into your kitchen. . . .



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Most people who are trying to lose weight start off by exercising.  However, we have been told that without incorporating changes to the diet at the same time weight loss can be pretty minimal.  This is not necessarily true per a recent study through the University of Copenhagen.  They found that if you do the right amount of exercise it can contribute to weight loss.  What is the right amount of exercise?  In this study that amount was about 30 minutes a day.

For the study, researchers put together three groups that were composed of pudgy, sedentary young men in their 20’s or 30’s.  One of these groups was used as the control group that did no exercise.  The second group were told to exercise 30 minutes a day or until they burned 300 calories.  The third group exercised 60 minutes a day or until they burned 600 calories.  This study lasted 13 weeks and during this time all groups were told to keep daily food diaries and not alter their eating prior to the start of the study or during the study.

When the study concluded, the control group did not lose or gain any weight as expected.  Their body fat also remained the same.

The group that worked out 60 minutes a day lost an average of five pounds each.  However, based on their food intake and lifestyle prior to the study, if they men were burning 600 calories a day they should have lost 20% more weight.

Finally, the group that exercised 30 minutes a day lost an average of seven pounds each.  With the small amount of calories they were burning and no changes to their diet prior to the study this represents 83% more weight loss than expected.

Though it is not completely clear why those exercising less lost more weight there were some indicators.  First, those that burned 600 calories a day were increasing their food intake indicated by their food diaries.  It is even likely they were eating more than documented and not writing it down.  Also, because each person wore motion sensor scientists were able to see that these men were pretty inactive outside the time they were exercising.  It may have been from the fatigue of exercising so long.

The men that exercised half as much and burned 300 calories may have been more energized by their activity because motion sensors showed them being active outside of exercise time.  They were moving around much more, taking the stairs and walking.  Also, they did not increase their caloric intake during the study.

It seems like the shorter the exercise session the more it allowed the men to burn calories without wanting to replace them.  It also left room for them to be active outside their exercise activity since it didn’t completely drain them.

Though there are several factors that may have impacted the results of this study the message is still clear.  Do nothing and lose no weight.  Do something and shed some pounds.

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If you are looking for a weight loss challenge in your workplace and are tired of the same old “Biggest Loser” challenges, here is a new idea that mixes in the gift of giving.  We had previously completed several weight loss challenges that entailed participants to throw money into a pot until the end of the challenge.  Those that lost the greatest percentage of weight split the money.  Though money can be a great motivator, we wanted to do something different this time.  We opted for a charitable weight loss challenge.  The idea was to have employees sign up to lose weight in a 6-week period.  Whatever the total pounds of weight lost, the company donated $2 for every pound.  We did a little research and found that 1 pound of food equals approximately $2.  The timing was perfect as we are heading into the holiday season where many food banks need to stock up.  Employees ended up losing 250 pounds.  The company donated $500 to purchase food.  Additionally, our own employee-run weight loss group donated $100 towards the cause.  Those that did not want to participate in the weight loss challenge brought in food to add to the pile.  In the end, we donated over 300 pounds of food to a local food bank.  Here is what that included:

48 Cans of Ravioli

50 Cans of Chicken Noodle Soup

36 Servings of Applesauce

72 Fruit Cups

6 Jars of Peanut Butter

24 Cans of Green Beans

50 Cans of Chicken Soup

40 Cans of Beans

40 Pasta Dishes

72 Cans of Corn

48 Packages of Macaroni and Cheese

9 Jars of Pasta Sauce

72 Cans of Chicken

48 Cans of Tuna

24 Packages of Spaghetti

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When involved in making hiring decisions most hiring managers look at skills, education and experience.  The interview is also a key consideration when deciding to hire or not to hire.  However, I did not realize that a larger waistline may prevent someone from getting a job despite their qualifications.  I recently, read about a study published in the International Journal of Obesity where images of potential candidates were rated more poorly when they were obese than after weight loss surgery though they had the same skills and experience.  In the study, the hiring panel rated the candidates on salary, potential advancement, and likelihood of being hired.  What was found was overweight and obese had less chance of being hired.  Even if they were hired they had lower salaries and limited career advancement.

In another study researchers at George Washington University found that overweight women workers earned 15% less than women at a healthy weight.  This equates to about $5,826.  For overweight men the difference was $4,772 less than men at a healthy weight.  In addition to this difference in pay, researchers also found the average annual cost of being obese was $4,879 for women and $2,646 for men.  This figure includes indirect cost such as lost productivity and direct cost such as medical care.  Not only does being obese affect your health but it seems like it could impact personal finance.

It is unfortunate that this type of bias exists but there is a growing body of research that indicates there are stigmas around those that are overweight and obese.  However, is this bias illegal?  Currently, there are six cities and only one state (Michigan) that have specific laws protecting workers from discrimination based on weight.

As much as we want to think that hiring practices are done without bias it seem from this study that is not necessarily true.  If you are/were overweight would this impact your decision to lose weight?

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It’s the beginning of a new year. . . the beginning of a new wellness program year and it’s time for a new weight loss challenge!  In the past we have done “Biggest Loser-ish” type challenges.  We have also done challenges to reduce body fat, but this year we wanted to try something new.  Some past participants felt like they didn’t need to lose weight but could improve on their body fat, while others felt like they really needed to lose inches off their waist.  This new challenge will give participants at various fitness levels, body shapes, and fitness goals the ability to compete.  The “Triple Threat Challenge” will measure weight loss, body fat loss, and inches lost around the waist for each person.  There will be winners for each of these categories and an overall winner for the person who loses the greatest percentage of all three.  With most weight loss challenges, we ask each person to throw in $10 to participate.  Once we have a total we ask the company to match the contribution by the participants.  The winners will split the pot.


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