Man does not slim by sport alone

Losing weight also requires a change in diet.


Exercise is healthy and sport makes you slim. Fortunately, many people are now following this advice from doctors and health organisations. Frustration quickly sets in, however, if the pounds do not disappear as had been hoped for or expected despite having a personal fitness plan. A study by US researchers has made it clear once again that to lose weight successfully or maintain a healthy body weight it is necessary not only to exercise but to also have a balanced diet. The scientists concluded that a reduction in body weight cannot be achieved without having a diet to go with it. That is why a combination of physical activity and Almased always achieves the best results when losing weight.

According to Dr Corby Martin, who is director of the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has extensive experience in body weight management and health promotion, the main reason why people don’t lose as much weight through exercise as they would like is simple: physical exercise increases appetite and allows people to eat more. This leads to what scientists call ‘weight compensation’: not only do some people who exercise regularly not lose weight, they even gain weight. Exercising makes people hungry and this often leads them into believing that after training they can afford to consume some sort of treat or other that is not in their diet plan.

Studies had already shown that training only leads to the expected weight loss in around 40 per cent of cases. Dr Martin and his team wanted to find out more about the interrelationships and why physical activity does not necessarily lead to a reduction in body weight even though exercise burns calories. In an Examination of Mechanisms (E-MECHANIC) study (Comparison of Energy Intake and Body Weight Exercise), the scientists divided 171 non-athletic adults with an average body mass index (BMI) of 31.5 who had been overweight for more than six months into three groups: a control group that were not supposed to increase their physical activity, a low-intensity exercise group whose participants were required to undergo vigorous endurance training for 90 minutes a week, and a third, high-intensity exercise group that was required to perform vigorous endurance training for 210 minutes a week.

The more intensive the exercise, the more infrequent the weight loss

The researchers found evidence of weight compensation in both exercise groups. The effect was most pronounced in the group with high-intensity training. Specifically, 76 per cent of the athletes in the low-intensity exercise group and 90 per cent of the test persons from the high-intensity exercise group believed that they could reward themselves with a tasty treat after physical exertion. At the end of the six-month study, the researchers then noted it was ‘interesting’ that around half of the participants in the low-intensity exercise group had not shed any pounds at all or had even gained weight. From the high-intensity exercise group, only about a quarter of the participants had lost weight.

Based on these results, Dr Martin and his colleagues concluded that overweight cannot be reduced by sport alone, a diet is necessary as well. In fact, a calorie-reduction strategy as part of a balanced diet is always needed to get rid of excess pounds. This is where Almased comes into play in an intelligent approach: on its own this diet drink ensures targeted, healthy weight loss with a balanced supply of nutrients. The prospects of weight loss are best when it is combined with a training programme tailored to the personal fitness of each individual that does not ask too much of him or her, as has been confirmed by the US study mentioned above. Almased and physical activity will then also keep you fit and slim enduringly.

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