So take a look at the food you’re eating – consider the choice; check the proportions; remember the basic bariatric rules; try and cook more from scratch; take your supplements; and add some movement for optimum results (see the basics here). But check out why exercise is only part of the answer below …
Many dieters are frustrated to discover that despite intensive exercise, they are barely losing weight. Some may console themselves with the misconception that they are gaining muscle, but for the most part, the discouragement is so high that it leads people to quit their diet altogether.
Before this happens to you, please read on about a study that may explain why after a certain amount of exercise, your daily calorie burn starts to plateau.
For humans, the total daily energy expenditure is comprised of resting energy burn plus whatever we burn as a result of physical activity. The resting energy burn is our basic metabolism and is more or less known for any given weight, age, and sex. The energy burned from exercise is also known, per exercise, and increasing linearly the longer our exercise session lasts: workout for 30 minutes and burn 300 calories; workout for 60 minutes and burn double that.
What happens to our resting energy burn rate though?
This is the question addressed in a recent study to be published in the prestigious journal Cell. Over 300 adults from 5 populations were recruited for energy expenditure measurement. The participants were from the US, Jamaica, Ghana, South Africa, and Seychelles.
The expected result is expressed on the left side of the chart above. However, what the scientists discovered is that once physical activity increases above a moderate level, the body adapts and reduced its metabolism in order to conserve energy (the graph on the right side of the chart).
In other words, there is a limit on the “calories out” part of the dieting equation. On the other hand, it’s much easier and more predictable to reduce the “calories in” part. Put plainly – losing weight is more about calorie reduction than increase in exercise. You should exercise for health, but to lose weight, watch what you eat.
Source: Pontzer at al – Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans – Current Biology, 2016
Feature courtesy of Fooducate.com