Often people say they haven’t been losing weight because they haven’t been able to do their workouts. While this is a popular reason it is not exactly true. Exercise is not a great weight loss method, especially if you regularly exercise, but it does help maintain weight loss and if you are just starting an exercise program it is a catalyst to losing fat. Exercise helps you gain muscle, burns calories, improves sleep and improves mood, all related to weight loss.
Recently it has been proven that exercise affects your motivation for food. Exercise not only burns calories, but decreases feelings of hunger or how you respond to seeing food. In other words exercise reduces your desire to eat. Researchers had women exercise for 45 minutes in the morning and studied their brain’s reaction to images of food. The days that women were exercising showed a decrease response to food images. Even better, on the non – exercise days the women did not eat more or “make up” their calories.
Many popular and trendy diet programs recommend that participants do not exercise while trying to lose weight. Now this has been proven to be counter intuitive, not only to suppress your appetite, but also to starting new healthy habits and increasing your metabolism.
Other research looked at the difference in two appetite regulating hormones, Ghrelin and peptide YY. Ghrelin is the only hormone to stimulate appetite and peptide YY is one of the hormones that suppresses appetite. The study had volunteers weight training and running. Running not only suppressed appetite, but it also increased the levels appetite suppression hormones. Weight training only decreased the levels of Ghrelin, so it did decrease appetite, but did not seem to work on appetite suppression hormones.
Exercise has many proven health benefits including helping obese, older adults improve insulin sensitivity. In fact their study showed that a “combination of diet-induced weight loss and frequent exercise almost doubled the improvement in insulin sensitivity compared with dieting alone.” Another great reason for everyone at every age and every size to get moving. It is has also proven been proven that older adults who diet alone lose valuable muscle mass. Sedentary, older adults that participated in a 4 month exercise program got fitter and lost more fat than the diet only group.
More good news for older adults proves that diet and exercise is the best combination for obese, older adults. While diet alone for weight loss improved health factors by 12% and exercise alone improved health factors by 15%. Diet and exercise together improved physical performance by 21%.
Exercise may not directly help you lose weight – it is still easier to eat too many calories than to exercise them off – it is still a great way to improve your health, reduce your appetite and keep the weight off.
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