Counting calories and Obesity

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is used by gym rats, trainers, and nutritionists everywhere to determine how many calories to consume.  This seems logical at first, but is extremely flawed.  BMR is a measurement of our metabolism at complete rest.  My question to the use of this calculation in determining how much to eat is how can our metabolism at complete rest be compared to the dynamics of our metabolism after a meal?

There are many differing factors when eating a meal between individuals.  Gut health, stress, and the types of foods consumed all affect our metabolism after a meal.  What about genetics?  Obesity has strong genetic links and we all know people that put on weight easily, or people that can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound.  How can one formula represent a caloric total for everyone to follow?

As a country we are exercising more which can be seen by the rising numbers of people running on the roadsides and signing up at local gyms.  Also, more people then ever are taking part in dietary programs that restrict calories below the BMR and as a country we are consuming less calories all together (http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/9217594/reload=0;jsessionid=BiJLaxc9qICmfg3xPA0x.0).  If this is all true then why do we continue to get fatter?

Obesity is a much more dynamic disease then just a matter of eating too much and exercising too little.  There are numerous factors that affect weight gain such as inflammation, hormonal response tro meals, and genetics.  The best starting point is following a paleo diet template.  The helps address gut health, inflammation, and controls the secretion of insulin.  From there individual tinkering is always necessary.  Until the American population asks these same questions as a whole and looks at the larger picture of what is actually going on with the health of this country we will continue to get more obese and more sick.  Try a paleo diet, what is the worst that is going to happen?

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