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February 8, 2013

Super Bowl Calories: Can You Exercise Them Away?

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Super Bowl Calories

Now that the Super Bowl is over how many of you ate too much during the game? This recent article leading up to the Super Bowl highlights how difficult it is to burn additional calories through exercise to offset the consumption of additional calories from eating.

When you look at the article’s examples of activities it takes to burn the 1,200 calories most Americans consume watching the Super Bowl you will see you have to exercise longer that the actual 60 minutes it takes to play the most watched sporting event in the US.

If you’re lazy you eat the additional calories and nothing else. If you’re motivated you eat the additional calories and then do the necessary exercise to burn off those calories. If you’re smart you do neither.

While exercise is important for good health, it’s impact on weight loss is overrated at least the way most people exercise. Many people when they say they need to lose weight decide to start an exercise program. They would get a better bang for their buck by eating smarter. Notice I didn’t say eat less. Why? Because contrary to popular belief not all calories are the same.

The Source of Calories Matters

The realization that not all calories are the same is gaining traction and being discussed more and more. Gary Taubes in his two books – Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat  spends considerable time discussing why that it is, and perhaps is first to bring this to national attention.

Robert Lusting, MD also has been on the front lines informing the public of the differences in calories in his book Fat Chance and his YouTube videos on Sugar: The Bitter Truth which have gone viral.

We discussed the myth about calories in – calories out in our piece The Myth About Calories In – Calories Out: Reality Trumps Theory (which at this point is our most viewed article).

Avoid the Bad Stuff

What are the bad calories? Anything containing sugar and all of its aliasesSee It’s Still Sugar: Don’t Be Fooled By The Many Names Of SugarThat step alone will reduce your chances of gaining weight, developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.

What about fat calories? Heart disease has not decreased with the promotion of low fat diets – just so you know. Fat makes up a big portion of your brain and is critical to health. See Why Eating Fat Is Not Fatal

Saturated fats can increase the bad LDL cholesterol, but the rise tends to be in form of the large buoyant LDL particles which are not linked to heart disease. Sometimes we forget that each of us can serve as our control when it comes to the effects of diet on our cholesterol.

Have your cholesterol particle type and size measured if you make a change in diet and see how it’s affecting your lipid profile. Watch out for calories from too many omega-6 fatty acids (some of them are ok, but most are unhealthy).  They are found in vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, and soy.

Did you pick San Francisco to win or Baltimore?  If you picked Baltimore are you fat and happy?


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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