EXERCISE, DOES IT HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?
by Dr Alison Kamffer
Every January, many people take to the roads jogging, or join up at the gym in order to shed those extra holiday kilos, but does exercising actually help you to lose weight?
In a recent study, researchers took a group of sedentary, overweight men and women and over the course of 18 months trained them to run a marathon. The men lost just a few kilos, and the women in the study averaged no change to their weight.
One reason may be that people tend to increase their food intake as they increase their exercise; diet and exercise must go hand in hand when it comes to weight loss.
When you cut back your food intake, your body is forced to find other sources of fuel. Unfortunately, this often means burning muscle protein along with your fat stores; including an exercise plan alongside your diet can reduce the amount of muscle you lose. This is also important because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and preventing muscle loss can help counter the drop in metabolic rate that occurs when you lose weight, making it harder to both lose weight and keep it off.
Most of the benefits of exercise seem to come from improvements in body composition, overall fitness and metabolic health, not just weight loss, and even if you don’t lose weight, you may still be losing fat and building muscle instead.
Exercise does more than the scale shows: If you gain 3 pounds of lean muscle and lose 4 pounds of fat, you've actually experienced a 7-pound improvement in your body condition, despite the scale only showing 1 pound of weight! For this reason, it can be helpful to measure your waist size and fat % as well as weighing.
But exercise by itself has many more benefits, of which the following are just a few:
-Increases your energy levels: The more energy you use, the more you have.
-Improves the quality of your sleep: Exercise helps you get to sleep more quickly, as well as improving the sleep quality.
-Helps combat chronic disease: Exercise helps improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and has been linked with delayed onset of dementia.
-Improves your mood: Exercise promotes positive brain chemistry. Scientists at UT South western Medical Centre found that moderate and intense daily exercise can work just as well as a second antidepressant drug.
For women who had a family history of mental illness, moderate exercise worked best, while for those who had no family history, intense exercise was more effective.
More intense exercise was most beneficial for men in general.
Exercise curbs emotional eating. Working out has been proven time and time again to help regulate mood, which has a direct effect on people who eat when they're stressed or upset.
Exercise helps reduce tummy fat. Regular moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise has the greatest impact on reducing abdominal fat, which is the dangerous fat associated with insulin resistance and so Diabetes and heart disease.
Exercise helps maintain weight lost. Ninety percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off for a year do about an hour of physical activity a day.
Healthy habits tend to cluster together. When people make positive changes, such as exercising more, they tend to work on other health improvements as well, such as eating better.
Exercise is fun. Rock-climbing is more exciting than eating a celery stick. That's why it's sometimes easier to be active to stay slim than to maintain a strict diet.
Next week we will look at the type of exercise, and some other benefits!
Thanks to authority nutrition
Written By SureSlim's Dr Ali.