Life Isn’t Fair

Woman may have more choices in footwear (both a good and a bad thing) but when it comes to losing weight, nature is not on our side.

One could reasonably deduce that weight loss is simply a matter of mathematics:

calories in < calories expended = weight loss

But you would be wrong.

The human body likes equilibrium- whatever weight it is used to is the weight it wants to remain. There are certain hormones associated with appetite, and these will fluctuate with any shifts in energy expenditure. In women, intense exercise resulted in the increase in the hormone acylated ghrelin and insulin to decrease, thereby increasing the desire to eat. Men generally saw the exact opposite effect on acylated ghrelin.


I am not an expert so I tried to delve into this in more detail and kept running up against sites requiring registration and or payment for access. I doubt my grade 13 level biology and chemistry will help me with these doctoral level theses anyway so it is probably just as well.

In layman terms, for most women, exercise causes an increase in appetite. That is, the body will fight tooth and nail to hang onto every ounce of fat. It’s a reproductive thing.


I had always told myself that I did enough sports to warrant my generous appetite. Apparently I have been deluding myself all these years.


Exercise is important in the maintenance of weight but it is not clear why this is the case. Exercise and weight loss is another matter. This article suggests one very simple thing that can be done to increase energy output but not trigger an increase in one’s appetite- get rid of your chair.

My Mother has been availing herself of the opportunity to borrow Chinese books from the library and she has been telling me for weeks to do certain exercises to promote better health. I have been humouring her but one of the things she mentioned was standing while watching t.v., sometimes on one leg or on the balls of your feet to work on one’s balance and also to engage different muscles. This would tie into the notion of low-intensity ambulation as discussed in the aforementioned article.

I remember a news story about a company that was taking a proactive stance to help its staff become healthier and more productive. They provided standing workstations and the option to work while on a treadmill. I am not coordinated enough for the latter but I would love to be able to stand at the computer. I think better on my feet.

Since it is very unlikely my workplace will accommodate me on this endeavour, I may just bring in my exercise ball. I had trouble finding examples of low intensity ambulation on the internet other than standing but I think sitting on a ball would qualify.

“Active” sitting on an exercise ball uses certain muscles that never get “exercised” while in a regular chair- you would fall otherwise. And I would bet that the calories expended trying to not to fall over would add up over the course of the day- without triggering the “feed me” hormones.

It is worth a try- I’ve got nothing to lose other than my chub- and maybe my dignity since I am prone to clumsiness.

My dignity is something I would sacrifice for better health and what is my dignity worth if I attain my goals and the carrot in the form of the Fiorentini & Baker boots (second row, fifth column) I have been drooling over for years?


~ by angryegg on May 12, 2010.

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