Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Snickers Bar Theory"

Dr. William Blank of New York's Lutheran Medical Center has written an excellent explanation as to why a little extra food each day goes a long way towards adding on the pounds:

"Let's assume that a person is of normal weight and that his weight has remained perfectly stable for 2 years. That means that, through activity and exercise, the person burns the same number of calories that he consumes each day.

Now, let's add to that equation one Snickers bar eaten every day (or for that matter any other candy bar or small bag of chips), but the person does no additional exercise to burn off those extra calories.

In 1 week, he will have gained about half a pound. Now, multiply that by 52 weeks, and in 1 year he could gain 26 pounds. In 5 years, the amount gained would have reached 130 pounds--all from an addtional, unburned daily candy bar."


Anonymous said...

Glad to know about this )which is perfectly logical) but I was hoping it would say I could have a Snickers bar without heavy penalty.

proud2begeeky said...

Okay, question. I'm a college student, and when I'm at school I eat a fair amount of healthy fibery cereal. Then when I go home I tend to actually make stuff for breakfast - pancakes and eggs and stuff. And I drink milk at home. 2%. At every meal. And in between. And there are always cookies and brownies laying around. And I take advantage of it. Yet I don't gain weight when I go home. I've recently taken a racquetball and a dance class, and I didn't lose weight then. About a year back, there was a time when I walked for half and hour some three or four times a week, and I didn't lose weight then either. I'm not trying to be difficult. I honestly want to know, 'cause it just seems really weird to me.

Femail doc said...

Dear P2BG,

The human genome was perfected during the Ice Age at a time when we were necessarily cold, hungry, and very physically active most all the time. Most of us, including you, are generally warm, sort of active maybe, and rarely hungry.

We love high calorie food as we are genetically designed to store those extra calories for the famine that, for better or worse, never comes these days. You clearly had ancestors who survived the Ice Age and beyond by very effectively storing carbohydrates for a rainy day, and you are good at doing the same. A fair amount of 'healthy fibery cereal' is still a fair amount of extra calories to be saved as is our genetic wont. The right genes in the wrong environment such as modern life results in tenacious weight. I suspect you might have relatives who become diabetic as they grown older and more sedentary.

So too much of the wrong stuff in, and not enough out. Walking 1/2 hour several times a week is better than many do, but not enough to drop weight.

I suggest you lose the high carb snacks and do hot, sweaty, heart-pounding exercise for 3 hours per week. Fewer 'Snickers' in, more intensive calorie burning, you will SLOWLY start to lose weight.

Best wishes,
Judy P.