The best exercise for weight loss, according to science

Source: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/fitness/weight-loss/the-best-exercise-for-weight-loss-according-to-science/news-story/26d5623a9496264f5cd0e58804675a17

 

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.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

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.

WHY YOU’RE HUNGRY AFTER A WORKOUT

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.

BOTTOM LINE

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?

How long should it take to lose weight?

Source: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition-tips/how-long-should-it-take-to-lose-weight/news-story/451506479356c096ed10f6093e1c4148

This article initially appeared on news.com.au and has been republished here with permission.

We’re constantly confronted by before and after shots. People who’ve “changed their bodies in six weeks” or “got their pre-baby body back”.

But how long does it really take to lose weight? Here’s the science behind weight loss.

What to expect

If you’ve asked your doctor or trainer “how long does it take to lose weight?”, you may as well have asked how long is a piece of string. There are numerous factors that affect people’s weight loss — from age, fitness, health status to lifestyle.

That said, a realistic rate of weight loss for most people is around 0.5-1kg a week. Weight loss can plateau and yo-yo, so there is no designated time period to ditch that extra layer of fat — despite the common 12-week challenges.

You need to continually mix it up, keep focused and set achievable short and long-term goals.

Weight loss vs fat loss

Seeing the scales flash two kilos in a week doesn’t necessarily mean all your hard work is paying off. There’s three explanations for weight loss: losing body fat, losing water and losing muscle.

With a balanced diet and regular physical activity, you’ll most likely shed fat and preserve lean muscle tissue (ideal world). However, if you’re more focused on your calorie restriction or following the latest fad diet at the expense of exercise, then you’ll lose all three components, but most likely more muscle and water.

This may appear great on the scales, but the results are never long-lived. Why? If you regain the weight, more fat and less muscle is replaced. Then once you come off the “diet”, your body thinks another famine is coming and works hard to store away whatever energy it can — most likely as fat. You are left with a body that jiggles instead of one that is toned.

Age vs fitness age

If you’ve noticed losing weight gets tougher with age, you’re not wrong. As you get older your body loses muscle mass, which slows your base metabolic rate (the rate at which it burns calories).

But that’s not the only age that affects weight loss. Your fitness age — the number of years you’ve been physically active for — determines your base level physique and the speed at which you shed kilos.

If you’re new to training (or overweight) and start exercising 3-4 times a week and eating healthily, then you could lose up to 2 kilos a week. Alternatively, if you’ve been training 3-4 times a week and eating correctly for a while, you’ll probably lose weight a steadier pace.

Get a grip of your lifestyle

Losing weight can be more complex than just eating healthily and exercising. If you’re struggling to shift the scales, consider the role your lifestyle plays. Are you stressed? Not getting enough sleep? Are your friends and family helping you stay on track? Or perhaps you have underlying health issues?

The conclusion

Every body is individual. Not one size fits all. You can train and eat exactly like someone else and have entirely different results.

While most experts would agree that 0.5-1kg a week is realistic, the truth of the matter is that slow and steady wins the race.

Not the message you really want to hear, I know.

Kathleen Alleaume is a nutritionist and exercise physiologist and Author of What’s Eating You?

Biomarkers could predict which diets are best for weight loss

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318335.php

Each year, millions of us go on diets in an attempt to lose weight, but not all of us succeed. A new study has uncovered two biomarkers that could predict how effective certain diets will be for weight loss, particularly for people prediabetes or diabetes.

From an analysis of more than 1,200 adults, researchers found that a person’s fasting blood glucose levels, fasting insulin levels, or both, were effective for pinpointing which diets were most likely to lead to weight loss.

Such biomarkers were especially effective for determining which diets were best for people with prediabetes and diabetes, the researchers report.

Study co-author Dr. Arne Astrup, head of the Department of Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues recently published their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to the American Diabetes Association, around 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, wherein the body is unable to effectively use the hormone insulin, causing high blood glucose levels.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but they are not high enough to warrant a diabetes diagnosis. However, people with prediabetes are at significantly greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those without prediabetes.

It is estimated that around 86 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes, but around 90 percent are unaware of it.

Longer weight loss programmes cut disease risk and save money

Source: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/clinical-news/longer-weight-loss-programmes-cut-disease-risk-and-save-money/20034669.article

GPs should refer patients to year-long weight management programmes rather than the current NICE-recommended 12-week programmes.

That is the finding of a new randomised controlled trial, presented this month in the Lancet, which concluded this would reduce the risk of patients developing diabetes and heart disease and save the NHS money in the longer term.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge recruited over 1,000 people with a BMI of 28 or higher from 23 GP practices, dividing these into three groups.

The first group received brief advice and self-help material; the second group were referred for the NICE-recommended 12-week Weight Watchers programme; and the third group a 12-month Weight Watchers programme.

The researchers found that the 12-week programme was more effective than the advice and self-help option, but the full-year weight-loss scheme was even more effective.

After one year, people who received brief advice lost an average of just over 3kg. Those on the 12-week programme lost 4.75 kg, while those who attended Weight Watchers for a year lost over 6.7 kg.

And, in addition to losing more weight, the people in this group also showed improvements in markers of diabetes and heart disease risk, which was still significant at two years.

The researchers also modelled the cost-effectiveness of the scheme, finding that although it initially costs more than the current NHS standard, the 52-week programme is more cost-effective in the long term due to reductions in disease.

The authors, therefore, recommend that healthcare providers consider extending weight loss referral schemes.

The researchers, who were funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative and Weight Watchers International (as part of an UK Medical Research Council Industrial Collaboration Award), said: ‘We… show, for the first time to our knowledge, that this extended referral achieves improvements in fasting glucose concentration and glycated haemoglobin equivalent to more intensive health professional-led interventions.

‘Using microsimulation modelling, we show for the first time that, over a 25-year period, the 12-week programme is cost-saving compared with a brief intervention, and that the 52-week programme is cost-effective compared with the 12-week programme.’

Science Has Finally Revealed the Best Time of Day to Weigh Yourself

Source: http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/weight-loss-best-time-day-weigh-self/

Turns out, there’s going to be a lot of difference between your weight first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Major weight loss takes more than just putting sneaker to treadmill or fork to plate. Odds are, you’re probably weighing yourself every once in awhile, too—and we don’t blame you if it’s the scariest part of your day.

But when it comes to the dreaded scale, there’s nothing to fear! According to the National Weight Control Registry, 75 percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off weigh themselves on a consistent basis. Plus, a 2012 study in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who lose weight are less likely to gain it back if they regularly weigh themselves.

So, scale on! But do so mindfully, science says. Get this: apparently there is a “right” way to weigh yourself. And as long as you follow this simple rule, you may get results that you can be proud of (and that are a little more accurate!)

First off, doctors recommend scheduling one time per day to weigh yourself and sticking to that time no matter what. Since your weight fluctuates throughout the day, it’s hard to get an accurate read when you’re constantly stepping on the scale.

“You need to know that number on a consistent basis to help you manage your weight to make better decisions about your health,” Holly Wyatt, M.D., medical director of the Wellness Clinic at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, told Consumer Reports.

But then you’re faced with a choice: When is the best time to weigh yourself? According to the experts, you should step on the scale in the morning, after you’ve emptied your bladder and before you’ve eaten breakfast or hit the gym. Not only will you get a lower number (woohoo!) but you’ll also see a more accurate reflection of what you actually weigh—sans any extra pounds thanks to water, food, etc.

Plus, make sure your scale is on a hard, flat surface (no carpets) and that you are standing still with your weight distributed evenly across both feet. Getting a more exact version of your weight is guaranteed to put your mind to rest and boost your weight loss motivation.

Still not happy with the number on the scale? Don’t fret! Try these 40 fast, easy tips to lose weight from the pros.

 

New weight loss trend has people exposing themselves to sub-zero temperatures

Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/110617/new-weight-loss-trend-has-people-exposing-themselves-to-sub-zero-temperatures.html

It’s the latest weight loss trend that has people exposing themselves to sub-zero temperatures to gain from this unusual treatment’s many benefits. Even Hollywood star Hugh Jackman, who was recently pictured in a sub-arctic tank credits the treatment called cryotherapy for his fabulous physique.

Cryotherapy, which in Greek means ‘cold cure’, has been around since the 17th century. But, the whole body technique was only developed in Japan in 1978 to treat rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Daily Mail.

Extreme cold, according to previous research, can stimulate the body into burning fat as much as 800 calories in just three minutes, the report states. Apart from encouraging weight loss, is also known to manage pain, make your skin smoother and improves its complexion.

How does it work? The cryotherapy tank dips below freezing temperatures by using cryogenic nitrogen vapour and reach negative 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This stimulates the body’s response to the cold that helps reduce swelling and inflammation, the report reveals.

Rex Sharpe, University of Missouri’s associate athletic director for sports medicine told the Daily Mail, “When you get into an area of cold, the blood vessels on the skin shut down and the blood returns to the core.” He further explains, this helps the blood to get reoxygenated in the core making you feel refreshed and re-energized. The process helps regenerating skin and muscle.

Scientists discover why the brain may lead to weight loss stalling

Source: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/news/2017/may/scientists-discover-why-the-brain-may-lead-to-weight-loss-stalling-91608141.html

A new study conducted at the University of Cambridge has found that a group of neurons in the brain coordinates energy intake and energy output when dieting.

The findings, which revisit the energy-balance equation, have implications for predicting the outcome of different weight loss interventions in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers knew that when we eat less, the body tends to compensate and burn fewer calories. But, how energy expenditure (calories out) is adjusted when calories are restricted remained unclear.

These new findings suggest that the brain regulates this caloric thermostat. In the journal eLife, researchers explain that, in mice, the brain responds to a calorie deficit by increasing hunger and decreasing the number of calories burned.

In other words, it turns the body into saving mode, which leads to barely measurable rises in energy expenditure and no increase in loss of body fat over time.

The group of neurons responsible for this phenomenon are known as the agouti-related neuropeptide (AGRP) neurons. They are located in the hypothalamus and represent about 10,000 neuron cells that are activated by fasting and refeeding.

When activated, the AGRP neurons act to spare energy, limiting the number of calories burned and hence the weight loss. They do that by decreasing thermogenesis (fat burning) in brown adipose tissue (BAT).

In the study’s experiment, mice that were food-restricted and genetically modified to have altered function of those neurons burned fewer calories.

The other interesting finding is that the AGRP neurons can detect how much energy is available through nutrient-sensing pathways, like mTORC1, and then control how many calories are burned accordingly.

The number of calories consumed is therefore important, but so is the type of diet as researchers found that exposing mice to a high-fat diet for several days inhibited their AGRP neurons, causing them to burn calories at a faster rate.

This is in line with the metabolic advantage purportedly associated with a low-carb, high-fat diet which is that it allows fat burning leading to weight loss.

Overall, the findings suggest that during caloric restriction, calories out may initially rise but eventually fall due to the action of the AGRP neurons which limits the rate of fat loss.