Exercise is more important to live than losing weight – 06/19/2022 – Balance

For better health and longer life, exercise is more important than losing weight, especially if you are overweight or obese, according to an interesting review of the links between fitness, weight, heart health and endurance published this year.

The study looked at the results of hundreds of previous studies on male and female weight loss and exercise, and found that obese people typically reduce their risk of heart disease and early death by working much harder than losing weight or dieting.

The review shows that most people can be healthy at any weight, even if they are active enough.

I’ve written many times about the science of exercise and weight loss, and many of them are actually reprehensible if your goal is to lose weight. This latest study fully shows that people who start exercising rarely lose a lot of weight, or not at all, unless they significantly reduce their food intake.

Exercise only burns fewer calories to help reduce weight overall. We also tend to compensate for low calorie exercise expenditure by eating more or moving less, or subconsciously slowing down our body’s metabolic operations to reduce our overall daily energy expenditure.

Glenn Gaesser, a professor of exercise physiology at Arizona State University in Phoenix (USA), is well aware of the inadequacy of exercise for fat loss. Over the decades, he has studied the effects of physical activity on people’s body composition and metabolism, as well as their endurance, with a special focus on obese people. Many of his previous studies pointed out that weight loss exercises were useless.

In a 2015 experiment she oversaw, for example, 81 sedentary and overweight women began a routine of walking 30 minutes three times a week. After 12 weeks, some of them lost some body fat, but 55 gained weight.

In another study by Dr. Gaesser, however, has shown significant improvement in people with overweight, obesity, and significant health conditions, including hypertension, a low cholesterol profile, or insulin resistance (a marker of type 2 diabetes) when they start exercising, whether or not they are losing weight. .

With these results in mind, Gaesser began to wonder if overweight people would be able to enjoy good metabolic health, regardless of their body mass, and potentially live as long as thinner people, or even thinner people. if they are out of season.

So in a new study published in the journal iScience this month, he and his colleague Siddhartha Angadi, a professor of education and kinesiology at the University of Charlottesville, began looking for databases of previous research on diet, exercise, fitness. metabolic health and duration.

They were particularly interested in meta-analyzes, which collected and analyzed data from a number of previous studies, allowing researchers to analyze the results of weight loss or the results of more people than most individual exercise tests, which are usually small-scale.

More than 200 meta-analyzes and significant individual analyzes were performed. So all of this research, which included dozens of obese men and women, mostly started to look at the relative benefits of weight loss or fitness to improve metabolism and endurance. In fact, one who has gained weight has been asked if she is gaining more health by losing weight or lifting and moving.

They realized that the competition was not close. “In direct comparison, the magnitude of the benefit was much greater with improved fitness than with weight loss,” said Drs. Gaesser.

In general, their research shows that sedentary men and women who start exercising and improve their fitness reduce their risk of premature death by 30% or more, even if their weight does not change. This improvement generally puts them at a lower risk of premature death than normal weight but out of shape people, Dr. Gaesser said.

On the other hand, if overweight people lose weight by dieting (not as a result of illness), the statistical risk of dying young is usually reduced by about 16%, but not in all studies. Some of the studies mentioned in the new review have concluded that weight loss among obese people does not reduce the risk of mortality.

The new review is not designed to determine how exercise or weight loss affects the longevity of obese people. But in many studies, Gaesser said, people who lost weight on a diet regained it and then tried again – a “yo-yo” approach to losing weight, which often helps with metabolic problems like diabetes, high cholesterol, and shorter. life expectancy.

On the other hand, the exercise addresses these conditions, he said. It can also accidentally fill people’s fat stores.

“People with obesity often lose a lot of belly fat when they exercise,” he said, although overall weight loss is negligible. The fat that accumulates inside our body increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.

Some of the research they mentioned found that exercise also changes the molecular signal within other fat cells in ways that can improve insulin resistance, regardless of a person’s weight. “Exercise seems to make fat better,” Gaesser said.

The main conclusion of the new review, he concluded, is that you should not lose weight to stay healthy. “You’d better, in terms of your risk of mortality, increase your physical activity and fitness than deliberately lose weight,” he said.

Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves

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