Exercising more does not necessarily mean a more effective weight loss

A study was published recently which suggest that although exercising more that does not necessarily means that you will lose more weight. We all know that for weight loss we should be training in fat burning heart rate zone. See which is the ideal heart rate zone for weight loss by referring to fat burning heart rate calculator, available on-line.

The study is flawed in my opinion

I wonder if this study might have psychological implications. Perhaps in a repeat experiment, participants could journal both food intake AND rate their satisfaction with the exercise/ their self-confidence post-exercise. I bet the 30 minute group would be generally more satisfied and confident, because when you go from 0 min to 60 min, you are much more likely to get tired/breathless before completing a workout than when you work out for 30 min.

These men were generally in the same shape, so let’s assume they all start to get extremely worn out after 20 minutes of vigorous exercise. The 30 minute men, only have ten minutes left so they push through it. They also feel accomplished because they conquered most of the workout. The 60 minute men have a whopping 40 minutes left to complete.

This would possibly prompt them to feel like failures, which may lead to mild depression (correlated with fatigue) and dread in anticipation of a workout. I think the 60 minute group may have simply developed a more negative attitude towards exercise, therefore avoiding it at all cost when it is not required, and possibly stress eating. This study seems to ignore human motivation, and as a result feels incomplete. I think a more valid conclusion would have been to start at a comfortable intensity and length of exercise and gradually increase both.

How about body composition type?

There is no body composition component mentioned in this article. If body composition (fat vs. muscle content) was not part of this study, it could be flawed. As most of us know, muscle tissue is much denser than fat, and therefore weighs much more. 13 weeks, the length of the study, is plenty of time to increase lean muscle tissue. I wish there was this differentiation made in the study. My only hope is that people don’t walk away from this article with the idea that reducing physical activity is good for you.

I exercise to get endorphine boost. I like to push myself with cardio – stairmaster or a run. and just to feel that energy rush flowing through me. It makes me feel great and I also eat much better when I exercise 4-5 days a week. i don’t find a lot of satisfaction when I do weights, maybe because I use heavier loads than I suppose to. I should probably focus on lighter loads and more reps. I’ve never lost weight exercising, but by eating less….I agree with MB they should do long term study on women. We respond differently to exercise and diet.

I have also found consistently that the more I exercise, the more weight I gain. I don’t believe it has anything to do with gaining more heavier muscle. In fact, it seems like I am less toned with a lot of exercising. It’s almost like the exercise is acting like an unhealthy cortisol releasing catabolic stress, like the stress you would have worrying about something or if you drank a few coffees.

I think the weight gain is partially due to a much stronger appetite and other effects as a result of cortisol and stress hormone release. Perhaps this causes water retention as well. Using a food journal, I have noticed that if I keep food intake normal/low using discipline with higher exercise amounts, and its not easy, that I still lose no weight or even gain which is why i think there is a water retention element involved.

I have noticed that if I keep the exercise much shorter and not aggressive, ie, not trying to walk a certain speed to reach some idea of a heart rate, that I do lose weight.

I think it has little to do with the calorie spend and more to do with not generating an unhealthy stress response and also giving motion to the body, improving overall circulation throughout the body and its joints and general functioning.

I find a 20 minute (max) non rushed continuous walk done on most days to be perfect.


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