One of the recent newsletters from a popular health and fitness doctor suggested that we only need exercise a bit more to keep from gaining weight. Evidently all the different health authorities have calculated the amount of exercise needed. The recommended guidelines would have a middle aged woman exercising at least 20 minutes vigorously 3 X a week, or moderately at least 150 minutes a week. Yep, follow those guidelines (and the high grain recommendations that come with them) and women gained an average of 19 pounds over 20 years.
What about LOSING weight, that turns out to be even more problematic than maintaining weight. A recent study reported on ScienceDaily explains why exercising away your obesity just won’t happen. When obese study participants failed to lose weight as expected from the “burning it off” predictions, they noted that the exercise created a certain stress, which we always knew. You exercise, get a little physiological stress, and in the process of recovering, you get stronger.
But some folks (over-exercising for their level of fitness, or those not sleeping well) mount a greater stress response with exercise. Part of the stress response is elevation of the blood cortisol level…which tends to make fat accumulate in the mid-section of the body! Just what we don’t want!
If you want to lose weight, a sensible eating plan will do you far more good than trying to bundle yourself off to the gym for marathon sessions on the treadmill.