Exercise and weight loss: Why working out may not help as much as you think

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Energy compensation drives weight loss through fitness

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A new study of how physical activity affects the metabolism of humans suggests that increased levels of activity may decrease energy expenditure.

This is due to “compensatory responses in non-activity energy expenditure,” write the international researchers in the study, published in August in the journal Current Biology.

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For every 100 calories burned as a result of a workout, study says most people will net burn at least 72 calories.

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“This suggestion has profound implications for development, both metabolism and human health. It implies that a long-term increase in activity does not directly translate into an increase in total energy expenditure (TEE) as other components of TEE may decrease the response.” are – energy compensation,” the study summary notes.

The group found that for 1,754 adults living “normal lives,” energy compensation due to a reduction in basal energy expenditure (BEE) averaged 28% and “shows that with extra activity we burn only 72% of the extra calories that we consume.” Turns into extra calories. That day.”

BEE is how many calories are burned by being alive.

The researchers subtracted numbers from TEE to understand energy expenditure from exercise and other movement, and used statistical modeling to draw these findings.

In addition, the degree of energy compensation varies greatly for different body compositions.

The reason, the study suggests, may be due to individual differences in caloric compensation, with people who over-compensate are more likely to store body fat.

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Alternatively, the researchers said, the process may occur within individuals — the body compensates more vigorously for calories burned during activity and makes weight loss more difficult.

“Determining the causality of the relationship between energy compensation and adiposity will be important for improving public health strategies with respect to obesity,” the study said.

Notably, the study did not examine food intake.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Note that the prevalence of adult obesity in the US was 42.4% in 2017 to 2018.

Obesity affects some groups more than others, with the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic black adults being Hispanic adults and non-Hispanic white adults.

Another study published this month in iScience The absence of weight loss points to increased physical activity and improved fitness levels as keys to reducing the risk of obesity-related health conditions and mortality.

“We propose a weight-neutral strategy for the treatment of obesity on the following grounds: (1) the mortality associated with obesity is substantially attenuated by moderate to high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) or physical activity (PA). (2) Most cardiometabolic risk markers associated with obesity can be improved with exercise training independent of weight loss and to a magnitude similar to that seen with weight loss programs, (3) weight loss, even though Not only intentionally, but consistently associated with reduced mortality risk, (4) increases in CRF or PA are consistently associated with greater reductions in mortality risk than intentional weight loss, and (5) weight cycling is associated with a number of adverse health effects. The results are associated with increased mortality,” wrote the authors from the University of Arizona and the University of Virginia.

“Adherence to PA may improve if health care professionals consider PA and CRF to be essential vital signs and consistently emphasize the myriad benefits of PA and CRF to their patients in the absence of weight loss,” he said.


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