We see and hear a lot of individuals that start certain diets but then after a few weeks their initial great progress slows or comes to a halt, despite their continued hard work in making better food choices and their valiant will power.
As mentioned in previous blogs, losing weight short term is not a massive issue/something individuals lack experience with.
For most, weight loss maintenance and long term weight loss success is the big concern.
The truth is people lose weight in a variety of ways, which is great. They just struggle to keep it off!
So why does this happen and how can exercise help us?
As we lose more weight our need for calories decreases.
Someone who weighs 70kg will lose weight on more calories than someone who weighs 65kg due to their basal metabolic rate (BMR) being higher. This can be why people who have lost a stone or perhaps more can see their weight loss slow down dramatically or stop despite sticking to the same diet.
When this occurs we have two options, lower calories further by eating less food (sigh), or expending more calories (physical activity and/or exercise)
Research has been done into which proves a more effective method for long term success and these are some of the findings,
Deborah (2007) showed participants who maintained a higher level of activity (2500 cals per week) lost more weight and kept it off than a standard group (1000 cals per week).
Jakicic (2009) also found “Although physical activity may have modest effects on initial weight loss. It has proven a critically important strategy maintenance of weight-loss.
Finally, if that wasn’t good enough. Pavlou et al (1989) found expending an extra 1500 calories per week helped individuals gain less weight post diet.
So as a quick summary,
Exercise helps keep your calories higher as you diet meaning you can eat more and still lose weight.
This can also allow more flexibility within your dieting as you can include more foods you enjoy. Meaning better adherence and better long term success.
Exercise + Diet is proven to be more effective than diet alone.
So get yourself more active and prevent that dreaded weight loss stall.
*One final thing to note is that exercise has numerous other benefits that we haven’t even mentioned such as
Improved self confidence and self belief
Less pain, stronger joints and bones
Improved mood, gentian and stress management
(To be discussed in a later article).