Tag Archives: metabolism

Daily Exercise Offsets Unhealthy Changes from Short-Term Overeating

recent study of 26 healthy men highlights the amazing benefits – even in a brief time period – of regular exercise.  Several previous studies have shown unhealthy changes in blood sugar control as well as genetic changes to fat cells in response to overfeeding.

This study compared two groups, both of which were significantly overfed relative to their usual calorie level.  Both groups decreased their usual daily activity level during the study, but only one group ran at a moderate pace on a treadmill 45 minutes every day.  (This group consumed additional calories to compensate for the additional calorie burn, meaning that both groups were overfed by the same net amount).

In just a week, the non-exercising group showed deteriorating insulin action and negative changes to key genes controlling metabolism.  The exercisers showed no significant changes!

If  you have trouble getting back on track after the big holiday feed-athons, consider these study results!  If you are still feeling off-track from Thanksgiving dinner, this might be the encouragement you need . . . yes, it does matter!  What you do NOW always matters.  Even with dietary splurges, a little activity goes a long way toward better health.  Happy Holidays!

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Weight Loss Myths: Updates

I came across an interesting article on the ABC News website, “6 Weight Loss Myths Debunked”.  Some of the information is probably not new for you, but I suspect most of you will find something worth noting.  I have inserted my comments after each one.  (Click on the link for the full article.)

1.  Cut or burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound.

Kim’s comment:  This is a great over-simplification.  More important:  Keep the focus on improving YOUR energy balance.  If you are maintaining now and want to lose, you must eat fewer calories, burn more, or both.  This will make YOUR energy balance negative and you will lose body fat.  You really don’t need to know how many calories are in a pound of your body fat.

2.  You gained it, so you can lose it.

Kim’s comment:  I agree (mostly) that this is untrue.  More and more research is finding that metabolic processes can be altered by significant weight gain, making it more difficult to burn the extra stored fat than it was before.  Also, it is certainly easier to eat the calories that cause weight gain than it is to do the work of cutting back and exercising.

For a more uplifting mindset – always important –  just try to improve on your current lifestyle.  If you create a negative energy balance, you will lose fat.  To heal unhealthy metabolic changes, add exercise (see #3 below); it helps repair metabolic disfunction.

3.  Exercise won’t help you lose weight.

Kim’s comment:  Exercise helps with weight loss in several ways.  Not the least significant is the feeling of doing something healthy and positive, which in turn leads to more supportive brain chemistry.  It seems that exercise can also undo some of the harmful metabolic changes that can occur with weight gain.

4.  Removing one food from your diet is the secret to weight loss success.

Kim’s comment:  Of course that is untrue!  Enough said.

5.  Everyone gains (and loses) the same way.

Kim’s comment:  I have long suspected this.  While I am not a fly on anyone’s wall – wouldn’t even want to be! – I am convinced that some people just struggle more.  Others seem to have it easy.  The study referenced in the article (link above) is really interesting.  What we do not know is if lifestyle issues have anything to do with creating the differences.

6.  Eating six small meals is best for weight loss.

Kim’s comment:  I never believed this.  The best eating schedule for weight loss is the one that works – for YOU!

So . . . IS a calorie a calorie or not?

Let’s take a look at the latest published study regarding the effects of 3 different eating plans on maintenance of weight loss.

Study Details

Twenty one overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, adults first went through a weight loss phase, all of them losing 10-15% of their initial weight.  This was followed by a 4 week standard maintenance plan, the same for all participants.

The study then had each individual follow three different diets for one month each (in random order), with followup to keep calorie levels appropriate for maintenance.

Researchers found that those on a low carb plan (10% carb, 60% fat, 30% protein) maintained weight  eating more calories than those on a low glycemic index diet (40% carb, 40% fat, 20% protein) or a low fat diet (60% carb, 20% fat, 20% protein).  The difference was statistically significant, with about a 300 calorie difference in total calories burned between the very low carb diet and the low fat diet.  The low glycemic index diet resulted in maintenance metabolism values between the other two.

What does this mean for you? Continue reading