Do you think spending an hour at the gym every day is going to get you to your weight-loss goals? Think again. According to a new study, less might be more! But is that really the case?
To conduct their study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen divided a group of sedentary, overweight men into three groups, asking them all to keep food diaries.
The first group didn’t exercise at all, the second group exercised daily for 30 minutes (at a moderate pace that caused them to burn 300 calories) and the third group worked out daily for 60 minutes, at the same intensity as the other group (burning 600 calories per workout).
Guess who lost the most weight after 13 weeks?
The men in the middle! The men in the 30-minute group lost about seven pounds each, which is about 80 percent MORE than what the researchers were expecting. Meanwhile, the men in the 60- minute group lost an average of five pounds each, which was about 20 percent LESS than what the researchers would have predicted.
Mads Rosenkilde, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the study, tells HealthySELF that he was surprised by the results of the study. “What was surprising was that the moderate-dose exercise group had a negative energy balance, i.e., loss of fat mass, that was nearly the double of what could be expected from the amount of calories that they burned while exercising,” he says. “Meanwhile, the high-dose exercise group had a negative balance that was … lower than predicted!”
However, he does point out that both exercise regimes were effective, but the moderate dose of exercise proved More effective for losing weight. “This is a very interesting study which could have major ramifications for the fitness industry,” Jim White, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer, tells HealthySELF. “But before you slash your cardio, it is still early yet,” he cautions, explaining that it’s possible that the 30-minute-a-day group lost more weight within the time frame of the study because the 60-minute group was too tired to engage in any more activity throughout the day.
Personally and as a Physiotherapist, I believe that less is more and more is less. Losing weight is but not limited to exercise (Cardio) nor hours spent in the gym. It also include other important factor like diet and sleep. The basic principle of losing weight is to be able to burn more than you are consuming (calorie intake). Adding weight simply would be to eat more than your body is burning. So what’s the point of spending half hour or an hour in the gym only to return and consume all the calories you’ve just burnt? So it suffice to say that fats are not necessarily burnt in the gym but in the kitchen and same for muscle building. Weight lifting will not build your muscles, proteins (diet) will. Lifting weight will only stimulate your muscle creating the favourable environment for hypertrophy (muscle bulking).
Also, looking at our weight management product, one of the recommended exercise for the 9 day programme is a half-hour moderate intensity exercise e.g Brisk walking which has recently been supported with clinical evidence. It can then be noticed that the exercise and diet factor has been carefully planned to maximise burning fat and losing weight.
Conclusively, more is not always more and less is not always less as one may think. It’s been said that little drops of water makes the ocean. You can adopt either of the above mentioned methods (30 mins or 60 mins) depending on what works best for you. This post is not meant to replace a professional advice from your physician. Also consult your doctor and see a physiotherapist before commencing any workout program.
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