Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A better way of excercising

  1. Jun 21, 2006 #1

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I saw somewhere today that the best way to burn fat (as opposed to carbs) is dieting and weight lifting. Is this true? Or is walking and dieting better? i was also wondering, people always go around saying you could burn 100 or 200 calories doing whatever... and you see people eating like, 800 calorie burgers... does this mean that simply cutting out that burger would be like walking 4 hours a day (assuming you lose 100 or 200 calories per hour walking). Whenever i see numbers thrown about, it constantly seems like dieting alone would outdo any excercise one could normally do. I remember seeing somewhat of an explanation... something to the effect of dieting along hurts your muscle mass and that lifting weights allows you to compensate for that. So whats the scoop? Whats the low-down? Does Dr. Phil know it all? Why is the sun yellow? Am i a cute penguin?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2006 #2

    somasimple

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Pengwuino,

    There are calories that make you fat and others that do not!
    Just try to discard the first category.

    Eating 15000 calories of salad will not make you a fat guy! (but a gas guy ;) )
     
  4. Jun 21, 2006 #3

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    When you diet, you just cut back on calories. When you exercise, not only do you burn calories "during" the activity, you will continue to burn calories at an elevated level for a short while after you stop. Weight lifting is not a good calorie burning "exercise", although it can firm up and increase muscle mass, which of course will help you burn calories more efficiently. For fat and weight loss, aerobic exercise is the best. Exercising specific areas of the body will also help reshape those areas creating a more sculpted look, dieting alone can result in being thin and flabby/shapeless.

    somasimple, I'm surprised you'd say that. Anytime you eat more calories than you burn, the excess calories will be stored as fat. I don't have time (I'm at work) to go into the differences of how the body handles fat calories as opposed to non-fat calories right now. Of course digesting food burns calories, are you saying that the body would burn more calories digesting the lettuce than the calories in the lettuce? I believe high fiber, low calorie vegetables like celery fall into that category. Of course, no one should be eating nothing but celery.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2006
  5. Jun 21, 2006 #4
    That is just like saying 1 ton of feathers is lighter than 1 ton of bricks. A calorie is a calorie, no matter what the source. Certain foods will yeild more calories per gram versus others. The only way to loose weight is to decrease your calorie intake to slightly less than what the body needs. Drasticly reducing calorie intake isn't a solution either because it will force your body into a starvation response and it will hold on to as much fat as it can. Weight training does help to offset the effect of your body burning muscle(its prefered source vs. fat) but some cardio should be implemented to raise you "idle" caloric needs as well as burn off calories while your doing it. Also, fat doesn't require energy to maintain, but muscle does does, so for every pound of fat you trade for muscle the more energy you expend just doing nothing (so you can eat more and not gain)
     
  6. Jun 21, 2006 #5
    Things to think about.

    Weight training increases muscle mass. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn doing anything i.e. sleeping, running, thinking. This is because it one you weigh more and must do more work for a given activity, also muscle itself must be maintained which costs calories, lastly muscles burn sugar and therefore the more of this burning machinery you have the more you will burn. Gaining healthy amounts of muscle (and i'm not talking about becoming a body builder) will take 6 months or so. So this is an investment for your life. If you compare calorie burning from cardiovascular excercise such as running to calorie burning from weight lifting, cardio will always get you more calories burned. But in the long run weight lifting will.

    Also you should do ALL of the FOLLOWING:
    strength training, cardiovascular training,STRETCHING, diet, sleep. These are some of the ingredients of what our bodies require no matter what the artificial demands society makes on us.
     
  7. Jun 21, 2006 #6

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you want to take care of your body, you should consider weight-training with a cardio warm-up. I encourage you to engage in a rowing exercise before every heavy weight session. Rowing involves the stretching of major muscle groups and stretching is key to avoiding injury. Cycling, running, or stair-climbing is OK, but rowing is tops in my book. If you're doing it right, you should expect weight GAINS in the early weeks as muscle replaces fat, but your friends will say "have you lost weight?" as your total bulk reduces and your muscular definition improves.
     
  8. Jun 21, 2006 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A pound of fat on the body takes up more space on the body than a pound of muscle, that is why you can have two people with the same height and weight with one looking fat and one looking fit.

    That is why you can lose inches without losing weight.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2006 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You actually can burn a good number of calories doing weight lifting; it depends on the type of routine you choose. One advantage to weight lifting for those who are out of shape and are just starting to get back into shape is that you can start out really slow. With aerobic exercise, which you will eventually want to work into your exercise routine, it's either aerobic or it isn't, and if you're really out of shape, it's pretty discouraging to sign up for a "beginner" class and discover you can only keep up for about 5 min. With weight lifting, you might not be able to lift much more than an empty bar at first, but you can at least manage to do that for a half hour or hour, so it feels worth the trip to the gym. Weight lifting really seems to appeal to the scientific types too. I have friends who failed over and over again trying to lose weight with aerobic classes, or cycling, or stairmasters, etc., but finally stuck with the exercise program when they started weight lifting. The fun of it is that you can track your progress. Just bring along a notebook and keep a journal of how many reps you do of what weight, and within a few weeks, you can look back at how many additional pounds and reps you're lifting from when you started, and feel like you've really made progress, unlike the aerobics class where you're still tripping over your own two feet and still can't make it all the way to the end of the class without needing a break, and are certain everyone is staring at how uncoordinated you are.

    While the ultimate goal of any fitness program is to develop strength (i.e., weight lifting or resistance training), flexibility (stretching), and cardiovascular fitness (aerobic exercise), when just starting out, anything that's exercise that you can keep doing is better than nothing.

    And, since the example was actually comparing weight lifting to walking, not weight lifting to aerobic exercise, yeah, you probably burn a lot more calories weight lifting. I know I used to be able to work up quite a sweat while weight lifting, but walking depends a lot on the pace you set. A lot of people who start out with walking as exercise don't realize you really have to walk fast to burn many calories. Their liesurely stroll around the block at lunchtime really won't do much.
     
  10. Jun 21, 2006 #9

    somasimple

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Evo,

    You are just thinking that calories are just calories and interchangeable. No.
    If you eat sugar, you transform it in fat. If you eat salad, you make gas and have very little/no component to transform in fat.

    BTW, making exercice when you're fat, maintain your weight since muscles are obliged to work with your weight.
     
  11. Jun 21, 2006 #10

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Really? I thought the liver would convert excess calories to triglycerides no matter what the source. Of course, you'd probably have to eat A TON of salad to overeat it!
     
  12. Jun 21, 2006 #11

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you do that (not necessarily YOU turbo, but anyone else taking your suggestion who hasn't done rowing as an exercise before), have one of the trainers at the gym show you the proper technique for rowing exercise. A lot of people do it wrong, and lose out on the full benefits of the exercise. You should roll your shoulders back first to work the shoulder and back muscles, then keep control as you lean back and push with your legs. Be careful not to lock your knees at the full extension, or you'll wind up with knee injuries over time, and you're not really making the mucles do the work if your knees are locked anyway (with any weight lifting, be careful not to lock your knees or elbows). Then, reverse the motion, again, maintaining slow control the whole way, and you'll really work your abs too. Too many people just throw their weight into it to pull back fast and let the weights just pull them forward again, and are more likely to injure their back than get any useful exercise out of it.
     
  13. Jun 21, 2006 #12

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    They have to be digestible calories. If it's fiber/undigestible, it's just going to pass right back out of your digestive system without being absorbed.
     
  14. Jun 22, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What about potatoes and beans? How digestible are they? Can I eat them all day long without having to worry about ever going over my recommended caloric intake? ('cause I do love them potatoes and beans!:smile: )
     
  15. Jun 22, 2006 #14

    somasimple

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Math Is Hard
    potatoes and beans are sugars. So, many chance they go directly in the fat tissues.
     
  16. Jun 22, 2006 #15

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  17. Jun 22, 2006 #16

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think you guys are missing my point. If you eat too many (digestable)calories, the body is going to store the excess as fat. It doesn't matter whether the calories come from carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. What I am objecting to is the idea of "different kinds of calories". Lettuce does not have "different" calories than steak - it has less of them. It also contains a lot of fiber and water, so you can fill up on a lot of bulk but still not consume a lot of calories.

    I am only saying this because I see a lot of people who are convinced that if they don't eat any fat they won't get fat, so they chow down all day long on fat-free cookies and snacks. And guess what? They're overweight. They don't understand that the carbohydrates they are taking in can be converted to fat. Then there's the Atkins crowd and their carb-o-phobia running in the opposite direction. In general, I think people are really confused about nutrition. Who can blame them?

    Consider this article from Web MD:
    http://onhealth.webmd.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=61980
     
  18. Jun 22, 2006 #17

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you had read the second sentence of my post you would have seen this.
    You really should read more than one sentence.
     
  19. Jun 23, 2006 #18

    somasimple

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Sorry Evo,

    I leapt to fast, once more.
     
  20. Jun 23, 2006 #19
    I'd like to know about other vegetables like celery that cause you to burn more calories in digesting them than you recieve from them. Zoobies like to munch stuff.

    Also: anyone know more about green tea's apparent increase in calorie burning?

    http://www.nexuspub.com/health/2000/hmar008.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  21. Jun 23, 2006 #20

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    I read about that and was drinking green tea for calorie burning for a while; I don't much like the taste of it. I take my weight daily and for fun keep some statistics on my diet and weight change, and I couldn't verify any effect one way or another from the green tea. So since I wasn't getting any benefit, I quit.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: A better way of excercising
  1. What way ? (Replies: 3)

Loading...