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Can Exercise Make You Fat?

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Well the entire logic in losing weight is pretty simple: in order to shed weight, you need to burn off more calories than the amount you ingest on a daily basis. You can accomplish this by means of exercising, generally increasing the number of your physical activities and by controlling the amount of food you eat. However, there is a recent research conducted amongst 81 obese women wherein the results derived suggest that exercising can lead to weight gain. Yes, you’ve read that right, but before you go storming around in protest, read on to know more about how the said conclusion has come to be.

It was in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research where the controversial study was published. The research team recruited the help of 81 overweight women to undergo an aerobic exercise program that will last for 12 weeks. The participants were asked to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes three times a week, doing moderate paces. During the duration of the study, they were not subjected to any diet changes. At the end of weeks 4, 8 and 12, all the participants were weighed-in and as it turned out, no-one have lost any weight, at least significantly, and what’s even more bothering is the fact that 68% of the women have actually gained more weight. Researchers involved in the study concluded that the lack of weight loss and the weight gain is most likely caused by the participants’ having to compensate for the energy or calories they’ve burned during their exercise regimen by eitherbeing less active when they are not working out or by eating more.

Belly-Fat

So What is the Verdict on Exercising?

Even though this recent study showed that majority of its participants gained weight even when exercising, there are still other studies that can attest to the effectivity of adding exercise to an actual weight loss plan. For example, a study that was done in 2006 and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity showed that people who worked out for 30 minutes or so each day are more likely to lose weight than those who did not. Additionally, those who are trying to lose weight were at 48-76 % less likely to succeed if they can always find an excuse not to exercise, or always too tired or too busy to perform some actual workouts.

Another study published in the journal Obesity concluded that exercise can in fact aid in the weight loss process. In this study, the research team studied about 439 women who are either obese or overweight and with ages ranging from 50-75 years old. They did this for a year. For conclusions to be drawn up, the women were divided into groups; the first group were placed on a diet that’s based on a dietitian’s recommendation of the number of calories that each of the women need on a daily basis; and the second group were made to do vigorous sets of exercises for five days a week. The third group were placed on both diet and exercise while the fourth group, the control group, stayed as they are—no changes in diet and were not subjected to any exercise routines. After the study, the diet-only group lost an average of 15 pounds. The exercise-only group lost about 4 pounds, and the diet and exercise group lost around 20 pounds. And while the exercise group recorded the least amount of weight lost, it is worth noting that they have not gained any additional weight either. Further, the exercise-and-diet group lost 5 pounds more than the diet-only group which means that doing treadmill exercises won’t make you gain weight.

The newest study that started casting doubts on exercise as a means of losing weight may have some limitations. First, the participants were told not to change their diet patterns so that the research team can determine if exercising alone can make someone lose weight. However, what they failed to do probably is to tell the women what exactly “not altering their diets” mean or maybe they did not ask the participants to list or record what they ate each day. That being said, there’s no way of telling how much each of the participants ate during the past 12 weeks. They may have increased their portion servings without them even realizing it which entirely affects the number of calories they may have been ingesting.

All in all, doing exercises daily is still a beneficial tool for your body, even if it is not used in weight loss. Remember that it is better to be fit than to be thin, coming from a health-wise perspective; after all, the benefits of exercise in human health is independent of weight loss.

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