I hurt my right foot, quite badly 12 days ago. Having rested, iced, elevated and compressed my bruised metatarsals for 10 days, I was getting closeish to being able to run again. I love running. I?ve run for years. It keeps me calm and balanced. It also keeps me in good shape ? or so I thought!
2 days ago I re-injured said foot. This time the injury was more severe. So I am back to ice, rest, elevation and a long way off from being able to run again.? The pain has been pretty intense but my anxiety around not being able to run has been even greater.
As a nutritional therapist I see a lot of clients who want to lose weight. I go to great pains to emphasise that weight management is far more about what we eat and relatively little to do with how much exercise we take. Exercise is a really inefficient way to try and lose weight ? it requires huge amounts of energy expenditure for relatively little energy consumption.If you eat a poor quality, high sugar, highly processed? diet, you will almost certainly gain weight, irrespective of how many miles you may run, jog, swim or cycle.
Despite knowing this as fact and understanding on a physiological level why it is the food I eat and not the regular exercise that I take that keeps my weight in check, I still find myself during this time of enforced inaction, questioning this knowledge, expecting my bottom to suddenly start ballooning!
So this morning I reasserted my understanding of the facts about weight loss, food and exercise by reading some of Zoe Harcombe?s great work. Zoe?s writing is really thoroughly researched, science led and statistically packed. She is so good at explaining the many myths and misconceptions that food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and health authorities insist on reinforcing. The great 4 part series currently showing on BBC 2 that I tweeted about recently ?- ?The Men Who Made Us Thin?, further reinforces what Zoe has to say about the myth of exercise as a means to losing weight. ?I highly recommend you iplayer it, the 2nd episode debunks the exercise con.
Now exercise does, of course, offer many benefits especially resistance exercise and high intensity interval training (HIIT) as this boosts muscle and human growth hormone production. This can then raise your basal metabolic rate ? the rate at which you burn calories when you are sitting around doing nothing ? pretty much what I?m doing now. So thanks to my relatively high muscle mass due to years of resistance and HIIT workouts, I should be able to sit and recuperate without piling on the pounds. Exercise also ensures healthy bone density and good blood sugar management as exercise sensitises your cells to your insulin.
My observance of limiting the carbs helps as glucose, found in carbs, is used as a fuel source in the body, but for nothing else, so if I?m not burning fuel, I don?t need to be consuming it. So, I might do a few bicep and triceps curls, even a few leg raises, just to keep my muscles primed and my mind calm, but the reality is, a few weeks off from my usual exercise routine is only going to have a detrimental affect on my sanity rather than my waistline.
So, my final word on this – use exercise to feel healthy, manage stress, lift mood and keep your systems working well internally. If your main motivation for exercising is weight loss, then look up Zoe Harcombe, she’ll set you straight on that one … happy reading.