So, the bad news. If you’ve decided that you wanted to shift a few kilograms and actually managed to do it (bouquets to you), your body’s going to need, and burn, fewer calories.
That pesky calorie in v calorie out equation can result in putting the weight back on. The good news is that exercise – especially weight bearing exercise – undertaken after the weight loss journey, can help to counteract this, a study has found. This is despite the common understanding that exercise alone won’t help with losing weight.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham made the findings after putting 100 overweight women on a very strict 800 calories per day diet.
One group had to do 40 minutes of cardio three times per week, a second group did resistance training three times per week and one group didn’t exercise at all.
Once the women had lost enough weight to be in the so called ‘normal range’ they moved to a less strict diet plan and the two groups kept up the prescribed exercise plans for another four weeks. The women were all tested for how much energy they used outside of their work-out sessions, including when at rest.
The results? The women who didn’t exercise burned fewer calories at rest than the women who exercised, and they were also more sedentary than the women who worked up a sweat on the regular.
According to the lead study author, Gary Hunter, a professor of kinesiology at University of Alabama at Birmingham, this could be because they felt weakened and tired due to the low-calorie diet.
However the women that worked out tended to move around outside of the gym more than the women who didn’t exercise also. Their metabolisms didn’t slow down as much as the women who didn’t exercise.
This suggests that exercise, and especially weight training — after weight loss – boosts energy, and encourages people to be more physical, in and out of the gym.
As Professor Hunter puts it, “It seems clear that exercise is very important if you wish to keep the weight off.”
Bonus points if your workout is in the morning, because according to research, those smug people that exercise before breakfast are the healthiest and happiest among us
So if you were in need of one more reason to not be afraid of hitting the weight room at the gym, well this sounds like a good one.