I was nodding my head as I read this special report on weight loss in the Journal, until I reached this dismaying section, headlined "Rethink Exercise:"
It takes an enormous amount of exercise to burn a meaningful number of calories ... Another study, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine last year, put overweight college students on treadmills for 45 minutes, five days a week, for 16 months. At the end of the study, women participants had gained more than a pound. Men fared better, losing about 10 pounds -- but they had to burn the caloric equivalent of 60 pounds to do it.
At 3,500 calories a pound, that means burning more than 400 calories every single day for nearly a year and a half, all to lost just 10 pounds, or less than two pounds a month. Somehow, by swimming about a mile and a half, or for about an hour, six days a week, I was once able to lose a staggering 16 pounds in one month, albeit unintentionally. Maybe I was making significant changes to my diet than I was aware of -- this article holds that, between increased caloric consumption and reduced daily activity, exercise becomes an extremely inefficient weight loss catalyst, despite its numerous other benefits. Or maybe the students in the ACSM study were burning just enough calories to make up for the excess food they were eating every day, and only a few more, and any increase in exercise beyond that would go toward weight loss. So my 25 to 50 percent extra work had a disproportionate impact on my weight.
It looks like Napster's venture capital backers are finally getting sued, as I wrote about in 2000.
New column: Home Front: Gonzalez proposal on illegal units unsettles city landlords (April 11)
New column item: Talk of the Town: S.F.'s top chefs provide recipe for French toast (April 11)
New story: Hotels targeted for millions in taxes (April 4)
New story: State's fiscal woes could wipe S.F. foreign tourism offices off map (April 4)
New column: Hospitality: S.F. eateries ready to refuse service to alcohol tax proposals (April 4)
New column: Home Front: Greenspan curious about profit spending at broker pow-wow (Mar. 28)