You Can’t Outrun Your Fork

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kimberly Lalley
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing public affairs

Holiday weight gain is real, says research from Cornell University.  What’s worse is that it can take more than five months to lose the extra pounds you can put on between Halloween and New Year’s.

Exercise is important for optimal health. It can help you burn fat and gain muscle, and you don’t even have to go to a gym.  Resistance training helps, but you’ll get leaner faster by using your body weight against gravity, doing movements like squats, lunges, push-ups and planks.  Beyond burning fat, exercise has other perks like improving sleep quality, lowering cholesterol and reducing stress.

Weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise, according to Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic.  You never want to cut calories too low as it causes your metabolism to slow and you can lose muscle mass.  For a healthy daily calorie count, allow 10 calories per pound of body weight.  While diet and exercise are both important for long-term weight loss, remember this:  “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,” Talbott says.

Simple changes yield dramatic results.  Drinking large amounts of sugary beverages increases the risk of gaining weight and developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and gout.  Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with weight gain and obesity.  A child’s risk of becoming obese increases by 60% with each additional sugary beverage consumed each day.  Drinking just one 20-ounce bottle of a sugary beverage per day can result in gaining 25 extra pounds per year!

The more sugar you ingest, the more you want.  It’s an addiction.  According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are no more than 100 calories (25 grams) for women and no more than 150 calories (37.5 grams) for men.  One can of soda (39 grams) exceeds this quota for women and is almost the entire quota for men. 

When you drink sodas and other sugary drinks it causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly which is converted into fat if the energy is not used.  Unlike in fruits, sugar in sodas is refined without fiber to slow down the absorption.  Taking in a large amount of sugar (such as one soda a day), over time can create many health problems. 

JBMDL has regular classes to aid in wellness and health.  There are more than 40 classes to choose from and a mobile training team that can bring the training to you.  For more information go to