Joggers make their way up Mount Royal. "While changes in eating habits alone can trigger weight loss, it requires exercise to avoid regaining weight," writes Jill Barker.
The latest battle war from weight loss experts is not to rely on training alone to lose unwanted pounds. But that does not mean that exercise does not have a role in maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, there are those who encourage weight loss on almost any remedy, but preach the importance of exercise when it comes to keeping unwanted pounds from returning. So while changes in eating habits alone can trigger weight loss, it requires exercise to avoid weight regain. Because as hard as it is to lose weight, it's just as hard to keep it from coming back.
Part of the battle for weight loss is permanently related to the physiological changes that occur when a body shrinks in size. A lighter body burns fewer calories than a heavier one because of the less effort it takes to move less mass. It also burns fewer calories at rest. So, what worked to lose weight might not be as effective when it comes to maintaining the new weight.
Some of the most interesting data on weight recovery has been taken from the topics of the popular reality show The Biggest Loser, many of which got back the weight they lost. Another valuable source of information comes from people registered with the National Weight Loss Registry, a database of people who have lost at least 13.6 kg for at least one year. Both sets of weight loss professionals have given an interesting look at how much exercise it takes to keep lost pounds from returning.
The problem with most available data, however, is that they are self-reported, which means that there may be a gap between how much the subjects actually do and how much they say they practice.
To get a more accurate picture of how highly successful weight-holders exercise, a group of researchers from the University of Colorado gathered three groups: those who had successfully maintained a significant weight loss (30 pounds or more for at least a year); normal weights with body mass indexes (BMI) corresponding to weight loss practitioners; and obese subjects whose BMI was similar to the weight loss group before losing weight. They then compared the number of calories used during exercise and the total number of calories burned daily.
As scientists suspect, the successful weight loss dealers were significantly more physically active than normal weight and overweight control. Regarding the number of calories they burned daily, weight loss consumers used more than the normal weight scales, but were on par with the obese group – probably because of the extra effort it takes to move a heavy body through space. Weight handlers also accumulated the largest number of steps per day compared to the normal and overweight issues.
"The high levels of energy expenditure on physical activity and the total daily energy consumption observed in successful weight loss cans indicate that the group is dependent on high energy consumption used in physical activity to remain in energy balance (and avoid weight recovery) with a reduced weight, "said the researchers.
How much have they been doing? Weight loss consumers used about 12 calories / kg / day relative to the normal weight (10 calories / kg / day) and obese individuals (seven calories / kg / day). Translated to a tree count, the researchers reported that weight loss managers logged 12,100 steps per day. Day compared to 8,900 steps of the normal weight scales and 6,500 of the obese group.
These results come close to those obtained from the largest losers, with successful weight loss holders (maintaining a weight loss of 13 percent or more of their original body weight for six years after leaving the show), who utilized 12 calories / kg / day and The weight regenerators use only eight calories / kg / day.
These results are in line with recommendations of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, which recommends individuals who hope to keep lost pounds from returning commit to 60-90 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (walking) or 30-45 minutes of vigor physical activity (running) daily.
As far as food intake is concerned, the study did not check for diet, but the researchers suggest that the number of calories consumed daily is likely to be close to the number of calories used, which is the type of energy balance typically associated with weight maintenance (not winning or lose pounds).
"In summary, these findings suggest that physical activity can play a relatively greater role in maintaining weight loss and chronic energy intake," the researchers said.
So what is takeaway for anyone who has been successful in weight loss but not so successful in maintaining his new weight? Spend more of your energy than counting calories. Changing your everyday habits to include more walking, cycling and a daily fitness class is your key to keeping fit. For many, it means investing in some kind of home exercise equipment or a membership to the local gym. Watch your favorite TV shows while walking on the treadmill or pedaling away on a stationary bike. Try a boot camp class at the gym and take the dog for an extra long walk before and after work. The more you move, the trimmer you become.