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Effect of 1 mile a day


So what impact does a small change in activity actually have on the calories you burn and the weight you could lose over time? Check out the article 1 mile a day burns over half a stone in a year.
From this analysis it's clear that weight loss through exercise isn't particularly fast. What's important to realise is that this is a common route for people gaining weight too. A lot of people gain weight over time. Think of middle age spread. Over 5 years you could easily gain 2.5 stone. The reverse is also true. You could lose 2.5 stone over this time if your lifestyle were set up to lose weight. 
So, do you think that explains why the UK is more obese than ever? Is inactivity a bigger problem than what we're eating? 

Task Discussion

  • Tim Hunt   June 23, 2011, 7:11 p.m.

    I always wonder if it is helpful to think about gaining weight and losing weight. That is, I am not convinced by the idea of 'going on a diet to lose 0.6 stone in a year'.

    I would like to suggest that it is better to think about your ongoing lifestyle. That will be a certain balance of eating and exercise. Given that balance, your body will settle down to some weight. If you weigh more than now, then you will gradually lose weight. If you way less that than equilibrium weight, then you will gradually gain weight.

    But the point is that you should think long-term about what balance you need to be healthy, and how you can create an lifestyle with enough exercise and reasonable eating habits. If you get that right, then the weight thing will follow.

    Instead, thinking about a diet, and a short-term thing to make a short-term change in your weight. Well, it somewhat turns the whole thing into an ordeal to get through, and what happens at the end?

    So, what I would take from Colin's mile-a-day calculation is that it is something to think about when working out how you can create a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

  • Maria Droujkova   June 23, 2011, 7:54 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tim Hunt   June 23, 2011, 7:11 p.m.

    "We measure what we value, but we value what we measure."

    Weight is easy to measure, hence people do, and then start to value it too.

    With computers and mobile devices, other measurements become easier, though. Mental clarity can be measured with little math exercises or recitation, timed by the computer.

    I measure my productivity through the day, since that's what I am trying to optimize.

  • Colin Chambers   June 24, 2011, 5:29 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   June 23, 2011, 7:54 p.m.

    FAntastic guys. You've nailed. tim was right. Everyone measures calories but I haven't yet seen any weight loss technique measure  other vital nutrients. When you reduceitems from your diet how do you track the calcium and iron you take in. If you don't then you'll be encouraging osteoporosis and anaemia. No one seems to account for this. 

    So my point is two fold. Don't rush weight loss. Most people gain weight over months and years through small gains like 100 kcals a day. So why not lose weight the same way. But focus on your lifestyle instead. Every diet I've heard of says give up your existing life to lose weight e.g. you can either live life or lose weight. You can't do both. 

    This course really is about having your cake and eating it by focussing on balance. What life do you want. How can you make it work for you and what support and skills do you need todo this analysis. 

    So it's about building skills in people and a community to help connect people with the answers they need. 

    Hence I've kept everything very simple. You can go to infinite levels of depth in this stuff and future courses may do just that. But it's also possible to achieve what you want by using simple concepts. Learning as you go and fitting your needs around your life. 

    Maria is right too. it's becoming easier to measure more things and pass on the knowledge and skills to interpet the data. 

    I just want a simple starting point on which to build very complex concepts in peoples heads. As long as we help people go from one concept or level to the next and don't leave them out in the cold then their skills in maintaining balance (homeostasis if we get technical) will continue to grow and they will have the poweer to achieve their goals. 

  • Maria Droujkova   June 24, 2011, 9:47 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Colin Chambers   June 24, 2011, 5:29 a.m.

    I guess it's as good (or as bad) a place as any to write my complaint, which is not specifically directed at the present company, but at the broader culture where we come from... So here goes:

    Why are people talking about weight LOSS specifically, rather than weight BALANCE?


    An underweight person

  • Colin Chambers   June 27, 2011, 10:28 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Maria Droujkova   June 24, 2011, 9:47 a.m.

    I share your gripe. I mention weight because it's what everyone talks about but I'm trying to also talk more about nutrient balance and balancing the body as a whole. Learning to work with the body rather than against it.