Sunday, February 27, 2022

Our Bodies Compensate for Calories Burned Through Exercise, but Exercise is Still Important in Weight Loss

Research has shown that exercise, alone, will not lead to much weight loss. Generally, in order to lose appreciable weight, an individual needs to follow a diet, designed to promote weight loss. One of the reasons why exercise, alone, does not lead to a lot of weight loss is that our bodies compensate for the calories burned through exercise by limiting the amount of weight we actually lose. Still, as one study has indicated, exercise can be helpful in weight loss, if the exercise is combined with a weight-loss diet.

According to a study on how physical activity affects our bodies, for every 100 calories we might think we will burn when we work out, most of us will only burn 72 calories. The study found that our bodies tend to make up for at least a quarter of the calories we burn when we work out. This makes it more difficult for us to lose weight by working out. Results also show that extra weight makes it even more difficult for people, who are already overweight, to exercise to lose weight.

However, let’s not discard exercise in the overall process of weight loss. A study was done to see if changes in physical activity (PA) are linked to important changes in body weight and other body measurements when the exercise is combined with a weight-loss diet.

The study looked at 535 overweight or obese subjects. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of four different weight-loss diets, each diet consisting of different macronutrients. PA was measured with pedometers. Body composition and fat distribution were measured with DEXA and CT scans at baseline, at 6 months, and at 24 months. Results from the study showed that for every 1000 daily steps taken, there was a measurable drop in "body weight, body composition, and fat distribution."

So, while exercise, alone, will not lead to much weight loss for most people, the combination of a proper weight-loss diet and exercise can lead to appreciable weight loss.


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Friday, February 25, 2022

Intermittent Fasting Can Treat Prediabetes

Prediabetes affects 88 million Americans, and most Americans don't know they have the condition. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a weight-loss approach that works well for weight loss and other cardiometabolic conditions. And using IF may be an effective treatment for individuals with prediabetes. A recent study done in China looked at 101 overweight and obese adults with prediabetes to determine if IF was effective in treating prediabetes.

For the study, the researchers used two forms of IF. They used alternate day fasting (ADF) where the participants were instructed to eat 600 calories in fasting days, and to eat normally on non-fasting days. The researchers also used a time restricted fasting (TRF)  protocol, where participants were instructed to fast for sixteen hours during a day, and eat normally during an eight hour period (16/8 TRF).

The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: 34 participants were assigned to the ADF group, 31 participants were assigned to the 16/8 TRF group, and 34 participants were assigned to the control group. The study lasted three months.

At the close of the study, the ADF and 16/8 TRF groups saw greater decreases in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference than the control group. And both intervention groups showed substantial decreases in blood sugars and lipids. The ADF group saw even greater weight and BMI reductions than the 16/8 TRF group.

The study suggests that incorporating intermittent fasting regimens into regular eating patterns might help people with prediabetes minimize their risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

We know that weight loss is an important tool for lowering the glucose levels in people with prediabetes. And IF may be another weapon in the arsenal that providers can use to treat prediabetes.  Therefore, providers might want to consider IF for the treatment of prediabetes, as well as weight loss.


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