Apples and Exercise Promote Body Fat Loss
Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) patients who are following their bariatric guidelines know they must exercise daily in order to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. As they lose weight their endurance and intensity of physical activity will naturally increase. Often traditional physical activity enthusiasts will encourage WLS patients to eat high energy carbohydrate-dense snack bars before exercise. These may negate the caloric benefits of exercise for the patient and lead to discouragement when weight loss stalls or weight gain occurs.
For many WLS patients a better solution is to eat a nutrient dense apple about 30 minutes before exercise. Apples are low-glycemic* which means eating one instead of a high-glycemic energy bar will reduce the amount of insulin needed to digest it. That makes it easier for the body to burn fat and when the low-glycemic snack is followed by exercise the body will continue to burn body fat for the next few hours. Our goal in weight loss is to lose body fat, not muscle, so the combination of a low-glycemic snack with exercise is beneficial in reaching this goal.
Apples are available year round and they are affordable. They are exceptionally high in antioxidants, which can help offset the damage caused by free radicals, an unfortunate by-product of daily exercise. They are also rich in vitamin C as well as potassium. A medium apple provides about 81 calories and nearly 4 grams of fiber. Some of the fiber in apples is pectin, which may help lower blood cholesterol. Before exercise try slicing a tart apple and spreading the slices with peanut or almond butter (2 teaspoons). This will add a perfect balance of protein and fat to your healthy low-glycemic pre-exercise snack.
At the market look for apples that are hard and unbruised. Most of our better supermarkets now offer less-common apples alongside the familiar varieties of Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. Try Empire, Fuji, Jonagold or Crispin apples. But do not forget the old favorites including the tart and juicy Granny Smith.
*Low-Glycemic foods have less effect on your blood glucose than foods with a high glycemic index. High-GI foods tend to cause spikes in your glucose levels, whereas low-GI foods tend to cause gentle increases. Different carbohydrate foods can behave quite differently in the body. Some break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream; others break down gradually and slowly trickle glucose into the blood stream.