The Science behind Weight Loss

If flipping the calendar to a new year (or counting off another birthday) makes you anxious, stop fighting ‘Father Time’ and start working with him. You can add 20-plus great years to your life by making simple lifestyle changes. It is quite evident and proven that the lifespan of animals can be increased by reducing the calories by an average of 30-40%. Studies reveal the health benefits of exercising, including reducing the risk of dreadful diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.


How does body break down fat

There is chemistry behind how exercising and dieting helps in burning fat. Our body needs energy to perform certain actions. If you are not eating, there is little insulin in blood. This results in demand of energy which must be fulfilled from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Glucose is the primary source of energy and some cells, such as brain cells can only derive energy from glucose.


The first line of defence is breaking down glycogen (or carbohydrates) into glucose, a process called glycogenolysis. Then, fats are broken down, into glycerol and fatty acids (lypolysis). Fatty acids can further be directly used to get energy, or can be converted into glucose again (gluconeogenesis).The rate at which you consume food (and store energy), and the rate at which you burn this energy determines your body weight. However, the number of fat cells only get smaller (their number remains the same), even when the body is breaking down fat.

Ways to get those calories moving-

Journaling:

This is the most powerful tool to a successful weight loss regime. Maintaining a diary where you write your daily food intake is a smart way to acknowledging your weight loss mission. Research shows that people who write down what they have eaten tend to exercise more. Popping in a doughnut or some fried chips sometimes becomes less enticing, once you know you have to write it down.

Yoga: The new age fitness mantra

Quite contradictory to what the above statement reflects, Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy whose benefits are being re-discovered again. The principles of Yoga are timeless, holding true as much in today's time as it did centuries ago. The three main aspects of yoga, or “unite”, as it literally means, are:

1. Asanas or poses- The various yogic poses that give your body flexibility, strengthen muscles and eve reduce fat build-up.

2. Pranayama or breathing- Pranayama can be called the singular most important aspect of yoga, as they are means to purify the subtle energies flowing through the body.

3. Meditation- Mediation is a means to still the mind's restlessness- an invaluable tool in managing stress and anxiety.


Eat power foods

A daily handful of dark chocolate and almonds, plus fruits, vegetables, garlic, fish, and even a glass of wine can increase a woman’s life by 4.8 years (6.6 for men), according to research in the British Medical Journal. The foods are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and other nutrients that can lower your heart disease risk by 76 percent. The age gains also come from a 22 percent drop in breast-cancer risk linked to consuming less fat and fewer calories as you eat more fruit, veggies, and whole grains, the WHI found.

Get frisky

Adds 3 to 8 years
Having sex two to three times a week can boost your longevity by halving your risk for heart disease and stroke. The trick: Intercourse burns about 200 calories- the same as running for 30 minutes. And it may lower your blood pressure (which offers a 2- to 3-year gain), help you sleep better, boost your immunity, and release heart-protective hormones. Oh, and if the sex is part of a happy marriage, census research shows you’ll get another 5 years.








More to explore-

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/eat-exercise-and-be-merry-08-11-24/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/eat-less-to-live-longer/
http://www.weightandwellness.com/resources/articles-and-videos/weight-management-metabolism/the-science-of-weight-loss-and-real-food/

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