Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I think about the Times article "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin"

What I do know and I know from my own experience is.....eating healthy alone or exercise alone will not make me lose weight and keep it off in the long run. If I exercise regularly and eat healthy I am able to lose the weight and maintain it. I lost over 200lbs doing this and I have been able to maintain the weight loss for 8 1/2 years.

It is all about a Lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. We have to learn what works for us and do it!

I have attached an article below from MSN Health & Fitness "Is Exercise a Waste of Time? Addressing the same topic. I think it has a lot of really good information.

Is Exercise a Waste of Time?
Why Time magazine is wrong about working out.
Posted by David Zinczenko on Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:16 PM

Sometimes, when a news report seems to defy logic, it’s because someone hasn’t done their homework. And that’s what’s happened over at Time magazine with its latest cover story, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin.” The article claims that working out is not only useless for weight loss, but can actually lead to weight gain.

This contention hinges mostly on a recent study done at Louisiana State University. Scientists there divided sedentary women into four groups: One group didn’t exercise, and three others performed different amounts of physical activity. All of the groups were told to stick to their typical diet.

The results: The women who exercised the most didn’t lose any more weight than those who didn’t exercise at all over six months. How can this be?

Well, first understand how much exercise these women were doing. The group that exercised the most burned around 1000 calories a week, or about 140 calories a day. The other two exercise groups burned around 700 and 350 calories a week, respectively.

This isn’t a tremendous amount of exercise—you might burn around 140 calories vacuuming your house—so no one would anticipate a tremendous amount of weight loss. Even so, the researchers calculated how many pounds they would expect each woman to lose, and their predictions were spot-on for the two groups that did lesser amounts of exercise. For these ladies, the exercise did indeed work.

However, the other group of exercisers fell about two-and-a-half pounds short of their predicted weight loss. The Time story states: “Whether because exercise made them hungry or because they wanted to reward themselves (or both), most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment.”

Not so, according to the published data. The writer of the Time story either misread the results, or conveniently skipped over the parts that didn’t support his assertion. The study authors clearly state that the women in all four groups ate fewer calories on average.

To be fair, the calorie-intake numbers probably aren’t accurate. The study’s lead author, Timothy Church, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., admits that since this data was attained from a survey—and not measured directly—it’s not very reliable.

This further muddles the findings. And given that the non-exercisers lost weight, too, one could conclude this study proves that sitting on the couch causes weight loss. But Time magazine isn’t reporting that. At least not this week.

Instead, the Time author tries to support his notion that exercise doesn’t help you lose weight by pointing out that some women gained more than 10 pounds over the six-month study. “What the article fails to report is that other women lost even more weight than we expected,” says Dr. Church.

Bottom line: Our responses to diet and exercise are all highly individualized, explains Dr. Church. Sure, some people might compensate for their exercise by eating more, but according to Dr. Church, this isn’t the fault of exercise. More likely, he says, it’s because people don’t realize how easy it is to consume 1,000 calories at the drive-thru compared to burning just 250 calories on a treadmill. “If your weight is a concern for you, exercise is important. But it doesn’t give you license to eat what you want,” cautions Dr. Church. “You still need to pay close attention to what you’re putting in your mouth.”

Even so-called “healthy” food can have a surprising number of calories. Check out our list of the worst salads in America, including a 2,115-calorie salad from California Pizza Kitchen.

As for exercise making you hungrier, Dr. Church doesn’t think that’s the case. And overall, the research is mixed on the matter. But even if exercise does stoke your appetite, you still have the power of choice. Are you going to reach for an apple—or a big bowl of ice cream?

Dr. Church insists that we have much to learn on this topic, and wants you to know this: “When you look at people who lose weight and keep it off, what you find is that almost 100 percent of them not only watch what they eat, but are also regular exercisers.”

Want even more reasons why Time is wrong about exercise? Keep reading.

Exercise can protect your muscle. A Penn State University study found that people who lifted weights along with a program of diet and aerobic exercise had the same weight loss as those who only dieted (or who dieted and performed aerobic exercise). The difference? The lifters lost 5 pounds more fat because almost none of their weight loss came from muscle. Read: Resistance training didn’t improve weight loss, but it did improve fat loss. And isn’t that what really matters?

Exercise may help you stick to your diet. University of Pittsburgh researchers studied 169 dieters for 2 years and found that the participants who didn’t follow a 3-hour-a-week training plan ate more than their allotted 1,500 calories per day. The reverse was also true—sneaking snacks sabotaged their workouts. “One healthy behavior without the other will not work—you need to diet and exercise to maintain long-term weight loss,” says lead study author John Jakicic, Ph.D. That’s because both actions can act as a reminder to stay on track.

Exercise may target belly fat. While weight loss was similar among all four groups in the LSU study, only the groups that exercised saw their waist size decrease. The Time story downplays this finding, but isn’t it relevant? Think about it: This study actually shows that even a small amount of low-intensity exercise—performed in, say, just three 24-minute sessions a week—could help your jeans fit better. In other words, it makes you thinner. Doesn’t sound like a waste of time to me.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this article and I can't actually believe that mainstream media will publish such *HOOEY*!!!
    It takes an entire toolbox of tools to loose and maintain weight loss. Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Proper Support and Yes even Willpower!!! With or without Weight Loss Surgery you have to WANT to succeed and be willing to use every single tool at your disposal to reach a goal and maintain it. It is a very simple formula More output than input!!!