This has to be just about the easiest way to lose weight that we have ever seen, but it actually makes a lot of sense and it helps you to stay healthy and live longer as well.
Sitting down reading a book, at your desk working, watching TV or doing anything that involves sitting for long periods of time, will slash your life expectancy and definitely won’t help you lose weight, even if you exercise every day. So what’s so bad about doing nothing?
An exercise researcher, Michael Jensen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, US, one of the US’s top medical research facilities, was studying weight control when he discovered that some people, for seemingly no particular reason, started moving around and as a by product, they don’t gain weight, even when they have eaten too much. It seemed the easiest way to lose weight or at least keep it off.
It’s not that these people are gym bunnies, it would appear that all they do different is simply walk more, get up from the settee to run every day jobs or find other reasons to get on to their feet. This got the researchers thinking about this desire to move around and how significant that could be for sustaining good health and be the easiest way to lose weight.
This led the researchers to an area of research known as “inactivity research”, which shows that inactivity, particularly when sitting down, is actually bad for you.
Their research revealed that inactivity is bad for you, even if you exercise as well, and as we all know exercise is definitely NOT the easiest way to lose weight.
What this means is that going to the gym does not mean that you can spend the rest of the day on your backside.
A study led by Alpa Patel from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta in 2010, analysed the data from a 14-year study of 123,000 middle-aged adults.
The study looked at the mortality rates between those who spent six hours a day seated and those who reported three hours or less. Even when taking into account other factors like diet, they found something rather surprising.
Extra time on the settee was linked with a 37% increase in mortality rate for women and 17% increase for men. The reason for such a difference between the sexes is not known (The American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 172, p 419).
Another study, by a team at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, analysed data on the TV viewing behaviour of 8800 Australians.
They calculated that for every hour that you sit down and watch TV, you take 22 minutes off your average life expectancy. So if you watch 6 hours of TV a day you can expect to die, on average, about five years younger than those who don’t watch any TV at all, or at least stand up to watch it.
There are many other studies reaching similar conclusions. When they reviewed all the evidence, the team concluded that there was a “persuasive case” that excessive sitting “should now be considered an important stand-alone component of the physical activity and health equation”.
The message is quite clear. Sitting down for hours at a time is detrimental to your health, regardless of what you do with the rest of your day.
Just as you cannot make up for smoking 20 cigarettes a day by cycling 20 miles at the weekend, a session of high-intensity exercise does not negate the effect of watching TV for hours at a time.
Patel’s study found that those people who spent hours sitting down had a much higher death rate, even if they worked out for 45 to 60 minutes a day. So you can’t even be an “active couch potato”, it just does not work.
To establish just how immobile people were, the researchers equipped hundreds of people with accelerometers and inclinometers to monitor their daily activity. The accelerometers calculated how vigorous their movements were, and the inclinometers revealed how much time they spent sitting down.
What they discovered was that across a 14 or 15-hour waking day, we spend 55 to 75% of our time inactive. We actually exercise just 5% or less of our day.
If you look back at your grandparents, they did not go to the gym 3 times a week. They were simply active all day.
Inactivity causes your blood to become fatty, which could be why sitting down has been linked to heart disease. Fat is also stored in muscles, the liver and the colon, places where it is not supposed to be.
Finding the easiest way to lose weight
So what can you do to avoid this? Well, you could quit your sedentary job perhaps and take up hairdressing, become a postman or waiter, but perhaps that is a bit drastic. The easiest way to lose weight is to simply start getting up more.
First of all, it is important to realise that exercise is still beneficial. An hour in the gym cannot undo hours of sitting, but it is still good for your health.
So to find the easiest way to lose weight the solution is really quite simple, get up and move around some more. By doing this you raise your metabolic rate above 1.5 times the resting rate, this is considered light activity.
This means you are burning about 2 calories a minute. So if you do that for 5 minutes, that’s 10 calories burnt. If you do it twice an hour not only do you increase your life expectancy, you will also burn over 320 calories over an average day and that’s over two and a half stone a year.
Simply by doing this, and if you changed nothing else, you would lose around 3lb a month. Now if that isn’t the easiest way to lose weight then I don’t know what is.
So start making an effort to change your routine slightly. When you’re talking on the phone, stand up and pace around a bit (if the cord will allow it). Take short breaks twice an hour, go and get a glass of water.
It’s best for you to have frequent, short breaks or you can have breaks less often but just take longer ones.
If you are watching television, get up and move around every 20 minutes, or whenever there’s an ad break.
These simple steps will actually help you to reach your recommended daily exercise levels as well.
Anything is better than nothing. Just getting up and moving at all is taking a big step in the right direction.
At the Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy we can help you to find the easiest way to lose weight for you, by motivating you to get more ‘light activity’ into your normal behaviours so it starts to become natural and eventually you won’t even have to think about it.
We can also help with other behaviours that are perhaps holding you back like a sweet tooth or inappropriate snacking. Our hypnotherapy for weight loss programme looks at all aspects of your eating behaviours. We believe that on balance hypnotherapy is the easiest way to lose weight.
Sometimes the easiest way to lose weight really is quite easy and this latest research shows that to be the case.