Why Isn’t Working Out Working?
Fitness clubs are popping up in more locations than Starbucks -- in the mall, at work, in that room you meant to turn into a den until your spouse volunteered it for the neighborhood yoga group.
And yet, America grows fatter by the minute. What’s going on here?
About 55% of Americans say they exercise 3 or 4 times a week (and let’s say we believe them, for now). Over 35% of adults are obese, and even more in the African-American and Latino communities -- 47.8% and 42%, respectively.
Some experts point to the fact that we’re eating the wrong calories. Calories from different types of foods affect body composition and metabolism differently. For example, might 2000 calories a day in donuts affect your body differently than 2000 calories of healthy, balanced meals? Most likely.
Another factor is portion control (or lack of it). We’ve come to see way too much on our plate as just barely enough. (We suspect they are making the plates bigger, too, but there is no concrete proof of that.) As an example of the pitfalls of excessive volume, a person would need to work out for over 2 hours to burn off the 650 calories in a Burger King Whopper.
And the final factor we’ll go into here is that one we all understand too well -- will power. The urge to eat right and work out can be strong, but most times it doesn't last long.