Weight loss & exercise ? Why exercise helps you reach your goals.

Many Americans start walking or exercising to lose weight. Exercise helps, but you need to understand the ways it helps to put your goals in perspective.

 

But if you start ticking off the calories you chow down during your walk, you might be disappointed, so we won?t even go there. Plus, the range of calories used is as expansive as the great Salt Lake. The surface you walk on, how much muscle you already have, weather, body type, and the metabolism your parents blessed you with are all factors that affect it.

 

So, if the number of calories burned during exercise is relatively small, you ask, why bother? Well, exercise does a lot more for you than just burn, baby, baby while you?re out there sweating. For example, exercise:

 

Keeps your body "hyped up" and burning a few more calories even after you?ve stopped moving. See my story on Afterburn.

Builds muscle, which will burn more calories even when you're just sitting around. Now isn?t that a treat? Take a look at my story about how much muscle strengthening to do (Pump Up Your Muscles) after you?ve seen your doctor if this is new for you.

Trains your body to use fat more efficiently all the time. Ever see a fat marathoner? Ever wonder why those really active folks seem to eat all the time? They have a really stoked-up metabolism.

Is the No. 1 way to prevent weight gain, including after you?ve lost it once already. So, get into the exercise habit while you?re losing it so it doesn?t come back and find you.

Remember this little factoid as you develop your exercise habit now: The average American gains a pound each year between the ages of 25 and 55 while also losing 1/2 pound of muscle each of those years. That means the average 55-year-old will weigh 30 pounds more than at 25, but will actually carry 45 pounds more of fat.

 

Low- and High-Carbs: So what foods fit into what category?

 

Easy way to follow what to eat is to use 21 Day fix and 21 Day Fix meal plan. Here's a summary of some common foods that are low-, medium-, and high-index items:

 

High-glycemic foods - bagels, white or wheat bread, corn flakes, Rye Crisp crackers, muesli cereal, Shredded Wheat, corn, raisins, bananas, carrots, baked or mashed potatoes, soda pop, honey, sports drinks or energy bars sweetened with glucose, sucrose or maltodextrin.

 

Moderate-glycemic foods - oatmeal, rice, spaghetti, rye bread, buckwheat, grapes, oranges, yams, baked beans, All-Bran cereal, frozen peas.

 

Low-glycemic foods - apples, applesauce, cherries, dates, figs, grapefruit, peaches, pears, plums, skim milk, yogurt, beans, lentils, anything sweetened with fructose.

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