A new study shows that when it comes to losing weight, exercise alone is unlikely to shift the pounds.
Researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom found that women who engaged in exercise classes three times per week for 4 or 8 weeks — but who did not change their diets — failed to lose any weight.
The study involved two experiments. The first took 34 women, aged between 18 and 32 years, who were asked to take part in a circuit exercise training session three times per week for a total of 4 weeks. The second experiment included 36 women of the same age group, all of whom took part in the same training sessions, but for a total of 8 weeks.
At the beginning and end of each experiment, the weight, muscle, and fat mass of each woman were measured. Blood samples were also taken from the participants, which allowed the team to measure levels of appetite hormones, including insulin, leptin, amylin, ghrelin, and peptide YY. Such hormones can influence feelings of hunger and food intake.
The aim of this study was to determine whether or not exercise alone would lead to weight loss in the women. Consequently, the participants were told that the study would only assess the effects of exercise on cognitive and cardiorespiratory fitness. This was to avoid any potential bias, explained Dr. Kubis, the study’s co-author.
"When people take up exercise, they often restrict their diet — consciously or unconsciously — and this can mask the effects of the exercise," he explained.
At the end of the 4- and 8-week programmes, the researchers found that none of the women had lost weight, regardless of whether they were lean, overweight, or obese prior to the study. Lean women; however, did see an increase in muscle mass after the exercise training.
The researchers also found that women who were overweight or obese experienced changes to appetite hormones that were associated with increased hunger. The team said that this may partly explain why exercise alone may not lead to weight loss.
Med. pract. Christine Fritz, Deputy Head Biomolecular Restoration and specialist in Integrative Medicine at Double Check commented on the study’s findings: “Knowing how much fat and muscle we have in our body is important. Therefore, measuring the body composition is a crucial part of one`s physical and biochemical examination at Double Check and this study’s conclusions confirm our approach to weight loss.
At Double Check, as part of our Biomolecular Restoration (Bio-R) Programmes, we examine our client’s eating and training habits in combination with their health status. We then create an individual diet and exercise plan with the support of our excellent chefs and personal trainers. The plans combine exercise training with a fat burning and a detoxing diet tailored to the individual’s needs and lifestyle in order to achieve the best results.
Thanks to Bio-R, we achieve remarkable successes , with weight loss as well as an increase of overall wellbeing."
Author: Christine Fritz, Med. pract. Deputy Head of Biomolecular Restoration