If you’re wondering how best to maintain your weight, a recent study suggests that exercise can help. The study looked at a small group of extremely overweight people who had lost a lot of weight and were able to keep some, but not all, of that weight off through exercise. That said, more than 25 genes can contribute to weight gain–everyone is different–so there is no single answer to keeping the weight off.
Gina Kolata at The New York Times, reports on the very small study, published in the journal Obesity, of people who lost a lot of weight–and managed to keep a good amount of their weight off not only for months but for six years. These people were able to keep their weight down through a daily exercise regimen. As you might expect, they exercised far more than is generally recommended.
The 14 participants in the study–all of whom were on the TV show the Biggest Loser–either engaged in strenuous physical exercise for 35 minutes daily or moderate exercise for 80 minutes a day. This extra physical activity helped to offset the slowing down of their metabolisms from losing weight.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends only 20-25 minutes of moderate exercise a day, (25 percent of the exercise conducted by the study participants) or 10-11 minutes a day of vigorous exercise a day (about 33 percent of the exercise conducted by the study participants.)
To be sure, any amount of physical activity is generally good for your health. And, for most people, there is nothing better than moving your muscles and getting your heart rate up for a sustained amount of time every day. That said, physical activity is not the only answer to maintaining a good weight. It depends on your body and, if you’re overweight, what is triggering your obesity. By one expert’s count there at least 59 different types of obesity.
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