Exercise is the key to keeping the weight off
After losing weight, the majority of people put it right back on. It’s a cruel trick – because you weigh less, your body needs fewer calories to function.
You’re likely already accustomed to cutting calories, so what can you do about this weight rebound?
During weight loss and after you reach your goal weight, exercise can help you enjoy your slimmer self for a longer time.
This article discusses a recent study that pinpointed the type of exercise that helps you keep the weight off best. During the pivotal post-weight loss period, this information could be your best friend and secret to sustaining your slimmer self.
Check out the article for all the details:
Exercise may help people avoid regaining weight after successful dieting, according to a new study. It shows that exercise can crucially alter the body’s response to weight loss and potentially stop unwanted pounds from creeping back on.
In general, most nutrition experts agree that to lose weight, you must reduce calories, whether you exercise or not. Take in fewer calories than your body burns and by the ineluctable laws of math, you will drop pounds.
Unfortunately, that same heartless math dictates that weight loss then makes it difficult to stay thin. After losing weight, your body burns fewer calories throughout the day than it did before, because you have less body mass using energy.
Meanwhile, for reasons that are not fully understood, many people become more sedentary after they lose weight. Studies show that non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or N.E.A.T. — a measure of how much energy people use to stand, fidget, walk to the car and otherwise move around without formally exercising — often declines substantially after weight loss, perhaps because the body thinks you are starving and directs you to stay still and conserve energy.
So researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham decided to closely study the effects of exercise during that pivotal time just after someone has reached his or her goal weight.
They began by recruiting about 100 overweight, sedentary women, all of whom agreed to undertake a stringent diet, consisting of only 800 calories per day. The women also completed an array of baseline tests to determine their body composition, resting metabolic rate, daily levels of N.E.A.T., and walking economy, which tells scientists how easy it is for them to move around. The Alabama researchers also used an elaborate equation to establish how much time the women were moving each day.
Then a third of the women were asked not to exercise.
This study, though, was relatively short-term and narrow, using only female volunteers and following them for only a month. Whether the results would be similar over a longer period, for men, or for those who begin exercising only after they have lost weight remains to be determined, Dr. Hunter said.
But even so, “It seems clear that exercise is very important if you wish to keep the weight off,” he said.