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Junk In The Trunk In Texas Is Caused By Caloric Imbalances

Aug 17, 2007
The fat surplus linked to excess weight and obesity is caused by an imbalance between the amount of calories we consume and the amount of calories we burn during physical activity. So, in order to avoid putting on weight, which strategy should be adopted? Eat less or exercise more?

Calories are a measure of the energy contained in food as carbohydrates, proteins or fats. The amount of calories we need each day directly depends on the amount of energy we use. For example, a construction worker in Dallas, Houston or anywhere in Texas must consume more calories than an office worker does.

As a general rule, it's estimated that the majority of people need between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day to meet their physical needs. Unless you are a nutrition expert, however, it's extremely difficult to know precisely the number of calories you eat daily.

If you have a stable weight, you don't have to rack your brain - you consume the right amount of calories. On the other hand, if you have a tendency to put on weight, this means your calorie intake exceeds your physical needs and the surplus is stored as fat.

Adding "Air" to the Spare Tire
If you want to stop accumulating excess pounds, you must either reduce your calorie intake, increase your physical activity so you burn more calories or, even better, adopt a combination of the two approaches.

Despite having an increasingly sedentary way of life, many individuals have increased their consumption of calories by almost 20 percent during recent years. Several factors contribute to this over consumption, the most important being the major role occupied by "fast-food" and manufactured foods in our diet.

Supported by billions of marketing dollars, sales of these products are reaching record highs and are now part of the basic diet of a growing number of people, especially for young individuals. This is a bad situation, because these products often contain extraordinary amounts of fat and sugar that lead to the absorption of a large number of calories.

There are two options available to reduce the negative impact of these products: Reduce consumption and avoid their related calorie intake, or increase the level of physical activity to burn the excess calories.

For example, to burn the calories contained in a simple snack that includes one soft drink, one bag of chips and one candy bar, you must walk more than 2 and a half hours (150 minutes) or go out for a bike ride of an hour and a half. That's a pretty high price to pay for a snack eaten in barely ten minutes.

Get Moving!
Physical activity is essential to maintaining good health. Aside from burning more calories, exercise can have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system reduce the risks of some cancers, like colon and breast cancer. However, many overweight individuals can't hope to control their weight just by being more active. They also need to reduce their caloric intake by adopting a healthy diet, rich in vegetable products.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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