The best exercise for weight loss, according to science



THE problem with exercise as a weight loss strategy is many of us use it as a way justify an extra slice of pizza or another glass of wine.

But as it turns out, how hungry you are post workout depends on how intense or how long that workout really was.

recent study published in Journal of Endocrinology recruited 16 healthy, fit young men (sorry, no women due to controlling for the effects of women’s menstrual cycles). Participants were split into two groups: One group focused on intensity, ranging from an easy jog for 55 minutes (50% of their maximum capacity) to a more vigorous pace for 36 minutes (75% of maximum capacity), until they burned around 600 calories.

The second group focused on length with a run for 45 minutes at a steady pace on one day, followed by a run for 90 minutes at the same pace on another day (70% of maximum capacity). Throughout the experiment, both groups ate standard meals and levels of ghrelin — a hormone thought to influence appetite was measured. Generally speaking, when ghrelin levels rise, so does hunger.

Results reveal that our appetites certainly are strange, influenced by many factors beyond hormones and burning calories. In general, exercise lowered ghrelin (making people less hungry) with the effects being more pronounced when runs were vigorous (above 75% maximum capacity) and longer (90 minutes) compared to gentler jogging or briefer runs (45 minutes).

Interestingly, hormones remained suppressed one-hour post workout when workouts were the longest. What’s more, those who ran for 90 minutes reported feeling less hungry compared to those who carried out short, intense workouts, who soon felt peckish, despite still having low levels of ghrelin in their blood.


Granted the study was small and did not follow up whether participants had replaced the calories they had burned post workout, but this study shows that some types of exercise may be better than others at blunting appetite and potentially aiding in weight management. That is, you may wish to increase the duration of each session if you want to whittle the waistline.


It’s true that we’re not all the same when it comes to weight loss and there are individual differences in the effect exercise has on appetite. Despite it boiling down to the type of workout you’re doing (intense vs. low-intensity sessions), studies show that the level of fitness also impacts appetite.

In other words, the less fit you are, the more famished you’ll be. That’s because your body and brain haven’t gotten used to your workout habit yet, suggesting that a regular exercise habit might help us to regulate our appetites better.

Another reason is dehydration. Many times our bodies mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’re not drinking enough water throughout your workout, hunger may be intensified.


Let’s remember exercise has many other benefits irrespective of weight loss: elevated mood, immune boosting, reduced blood pressure, and improved fitness, to name a few.

Current Australian physical activity guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes of “moderate” intensity physical activity or 75-150 minutes of “vigorous” activity a week.

Australians are nowhere near active enough, and for someone trying to keep their weight in check, guidelines recommend adults increase to 300 minutes (five hours) or 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week.

Kathleen Alleaume is an exercise and nutrition scientist and author of What’s Eating You?


Ditch these running excuses to jump-start your weight loss

By  Published March 24, 2017

Exercise is a key ingredient in weight loss and maintenance. Running especially comes with a host of health benefits: It can give you more energy, boost your metabolism, improve your mood, and help release stress, Erica Stepteau, a health coach at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, told Fox News.


But strenuous exercise like running can seem daunting, and we often like to tell ourselves certain very convincing reasons why we should skip the cardio for the day. Fox News asked Stepteau about some of these common excuses about running, and how to get over them:

1. Running is too hard.
Running can be difficult, given that it uses every muscle group in your body, Stepteau said. However, there are ways to start gradually: Try one of the online couch to 5k programs, she suggested.

2. Running is lonely.
Another common excuse Stepteau hears is running is too lonely or boring. But try to reconfigure your thinking around running: Look at it as your therapy and alone time, Stepteau said.

3. The weather is bad.
If it’s rainy or slushy, your desire to run may take a nosedive. But even if you aren’t usually a fan of treadmills, you can still use them to recreate an outdoor running experience, Stepteau said. Try changing the incline on the treadmill, and listening to noises — like chirping birds — to remind you of outside.

4. I don’t have a runner’s body.
Some people believe that if they don’t have the idealized athletic, slim, and fit runner’s body, they shouldn’t get started. But be gracious with yourself, said Stepteau, noting that “aesthetics come into play later on but shouldn’t stop you from getting started.”

5. My knees will start hurting.
Running is definitely high impact on the knees, but you can go to a running specialty store to get fitted for proper shoes, which should help minimize the impact, Stepteau said.


6. I should have started when I was younger.
While many people wish they had gotten started on their running goals earlier, there are still huge benefits of getting started mid-age, Stepteau said. She noted that you can still reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes just by moving an hour a day.

7. I’ve been inactive for too long.
Even if you feel like you’re out of practice, increase your activities gradually, Stepteau said. Soon, you’ll start building your endurance


7 Things Only People Cutting Weight Will Understand


Dieting and exercising for weight loss is seldom as fun as trying to gain weight. A lot of smart coaches advise that if you’ve been competing for less than a year, you shouldn’t cut at all — you should focus on building a base for competition.

But if you have good reason to cut weight, generally speaking, it’s best to start about a month out from the meet. And oh boy, does that month bring its challenges.

1) The Terror of Losing Strength With the Weight

It’s true that bodybuilders and figure competitors do tend to lose strength as their fat loss becomes more aggressive, but so long as the cut is done responsibly, it doesn’t have to be a problem for strength athletes.

If you don’t start a cut until a month out from your meet, try and keep the weight loss to one or two pounds per week, keep your protein intake high, consume carbs before and during workouts, and get plenty of sleep (consider a magnesium supplement), strength shouldn’t be an issue. Most pro lifters limit their calorie deficit to 500-1000 calories a day, but talk to a sports dietitian to get recommendations for your training history.

2) A None-Too-Subtle Drop in Sex Drive

One of the greatest ironies is that as you approach what some consider the apex of human sexiness — Ryan Reynolds abs and spider-veined biceps — your interest in sex can start to dip.

It could be a combination of low fat intake affecting testosterone levels or stress affecting the thyroid gland. (It’s probably both.) It’s usually reported in bodybuilders and many consider it very difficult to fix if you’re under 10 percent body fat. If it’s affecting you, consider increasing your fat intake on non-training days and ensuring you consume enough zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and selenium to hedge your bets.


3) Exploring Creative Ways to Add Low-Calorie Bulk to Your Belly

For real, Spiralizers cost about forty bucks, and once you start adding paper-thin ribbons of zucchinis to your meals, you’ll marvel at how easy it is to feel insanely full on a hundred calories. You’ll also suddenly find a lot of new ways to consume tomatoes as well, and you might find yourself discovering tasty, low-calorie foods that you’ve probably never heard of. (Ever tried jicama?)

4) Peeing All the Time

About a week out from the meet, a lot of people start the water cut: that involves drinking lots and lots of water, some two gallons per day, which coupled with the smaller meals means a lot of trips to the bathroom.

The day before the meet, water is typically cut way down or completely eliminated until the weigh in. That’s when you’ll actually miss your constant pee breaks.


5) Learning That There Are Different Kinds of Water

Unlike purified drinking water, distilled water is totally free of minerals and salts, and it’s what a lot of people recommend during your water loading phase to avoid taking in any extra sodium.

6) Cursing the Fact That Sodium Can Increase Water Weight

Damn it, sodium! Why are you so delicious and why do I have to limit you during the last week of prep? In the final days before a meet, sodium gets cut way down to avoid any possible water weight tipping you into another weight category. This is when so-called salt-free seasonings become a staple. Despite what the packaging tells you, it only makes you remember how great actual salt tastes.


7) Learning How to Rehydrate Fast

After your weigh in, it’s a rush — well, a slow, controlled rush — to gain as much nutrition and fluid as possible before lifting begins.

Here are some popular tips that are worth considering: take some Immodium after the weigh in to prevent more water loss and diarrhea, consume some Pedialyte or Gatorade to help replenish some of the lost electrolytes, and take a tablespoon of Glycerin, which can help the body rehydrate.

We won’t deny that cutting weight isn’t as much fun as eating for weight gain and increases in strength, but if it’s done responsibly and with these tips in mind, and can prove a new and interesting challenge in manipulating your body and performance.

5 Surprising Running Fuels

April 11, 2012


here’s no shortage of energy bars, gels, and drinks on the market today. But sometimes the best way to fuel up during an endurance event is with the foods that are already in your kitchen, says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. “Sometimes energy gels and specialty foods upset people’s stomachs once they go for a run,” she explains. “But people are used to whole foods already.” And often time, those are the best options, anyway. “There are many cheaper, more natural alternatives to manufactured foods,” says Laura K. Stewart, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology at Louisiana State University. Here are five to try on your next race day.

“Dried fruit is easily digested into glucose, which is what your body needs to sustain itself during a race,” says Clark. And raisins are an especially good option because they’re so small. (Dried mangos and apples can also work.) A new Louisiana State University study found that when cyclists ate raisins, their finish time, power, and perceived exertion weren’t any different from when they ate Jelly Belly Sport Beans, a specialty item. The research examined cyclists, but Stewart, the study’s lead author, says that raisins could help runners, too.

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Your body loses electrolytes when you sweat, says Clark. So when you’re running a long race, you need to replenish them by drinking something other than water. That’s why sports drinks are so popular: they contain sodium, a key electrolyte. But they aren’t your only option. By mixing tea (which contains caffeine, a stimulant) with honey (which contains sodium and potassium) you can also create an effective endurance drink, says Clark. Try green tea: A recent Colorado State University study found that the brew’s main antioxidant (EGCG) can help raise your VO2 max, a measure of how well your body uses oxygen.

Switching up your diet is just one way to boost your speed and endurance. Check out The Secret to Running Faster for the easiest trick to better times.

Don’t worry about the lack of nutritional value, says Clark. “Your body just wants to survive the race.” Marshmallows are easily transportable chunks of sugar. Plus, they’re light and airy, which shouldn’t upset your stomach. Shoot to eat about 150-300 calories per hour, depending on what your body needs. Which brings us to another point: When you’re training, practice fueling up with different foods, says Clark. You don’t want to find out that something upsets your stomach 3 miles into a race.

Pretzels are made up of refined carbohydrates, says Barbara Lewin, R.D., a sports nutritionist. This kind of carb is quickly digested, which will boost your blood sugar levels during the event. Plus, they’re also relatively high in sodium, that crucial electrolyte.
Another optional homemade energy drink? Diluted OJ, says Lewin. What makes it so great is that it’s already high in potassium (another electrolyte), so adding a little bit of sodium makes it especially effective. Try 16 ounces of orange juice mixed with 16 ounces of water and topped off with 1 teaspoon of salt.

When things divide

“This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.”

Your body is the best tool to find out how you should manage your body and health

I wasn’t planning to name my blog like current one, but now it seems that it fits well with what I tend to do naturally. I am interested in finding out how to make myself fit and healthy while I’m living in a modern lifestyle. Our human body can’t evolve as fast as our society […]

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