" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

December 23, 2007

The Three Mile Donut

I figured out, finally, that exercising to lose weight can be a mostly fruitless effort. For me it became a drudge, one more thing to do and fail to continue and something for the most part I find distasteful. Hence, I abandoned exercise for weight loss. Instead, I exercise doing my necessary chores or for the pleasure of it. I still reap the health benefits minus the frustrations.

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink points out that for most people it is easier to eat a little less than to move a little more. He explains "The Three Mile Donut" :

"If we strapped on our track shoes, plugged in our iPod, and walked as quickly as possible for 30 to 40 minutes, we'd cover no more than three heart-pounding miles---at the very most. Now, suppose after catching our breath we realized we were standing in front of a Dunkin' Donuts. If we celebrated our workout with a Dunkin' Donuts coffee and a chocolate frosted donut (360 calories) we would polish off more calories in a minute than the 275 we burned off to get there.

People who start exercise programs often claim to gain weight the first couple of weeks. My Food and Brand Lab has started investigating what we call 'calorie compensation'. We're finding that almost all of us believe that we burn more calories exercising than we actually do. The problem is that after we exercise we often over-reward ourselves with that Haagen-dazs pint, and that's where we quickly undo the good.

Exercise should be an important part of every one's life for its health and fitness benefits. But when it comes to weight control, most of us will probably find it easier to eat one less donut than to walk three more miles." (page 236)

Another book, The Thin Commandments Diet points out too, that exercising often makes us hungrier--ever hear of the saying "work up an appetite"? I've been taught that exercise decreases hunger, tames the hunger monster. But whenever I've been on a weight loss plan and added exercise as an element of the plan, my weight loss has always stalled.

The point I believe is this: don't think or feel that you cannot lose weight without exercising. If that has been holding you back, banish the thought. Doing so, you may find a new desire that comes from being out from under the exercise myth bondage---to get out and about, to move around and discover the world by taking a lovely stroll for the sheer pleasure of it.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.