Eat and exercise to lose weight

Post image for Eat and exercise to lose weight | By Debjani Baidyaray

Mumbai, April 15: If you want to lose weight, do not simply reduce caloric intake, concludes a new study.  Simply dieting does not help in losing substantial weight.

The researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have suggested that diet and exercise together should be practiced to lose weight effectively.

Jude Cameron, PhD and a senior scientist at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center and a professor of behavioral neuroscience and obstetrics & gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine, as well as a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh suggests that this research will show that reducing calorie intake from food does not aid in losing weight.

To prove their hypothesis, the researchers, Cameron and OHSU post-doctoral fellow Elinor Sullivan, PhD studied 18 female rhesus macaque monkeys placed on a high-fat diet for several years, at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.

The monkeys were again put on a low-fat diet (standard monkey food) with about 30 percent reduction in calories. The weight and activity levels of the monkeys were closely tracked for a month. Activity was tracked through the use of an activity monitor worn on a collar.

“Surprisingly, there was no significant weight loss at the end of the month,” explained Sullivan. “However, there was a significant change in the activity levels for these monkeys. Naturally occurring levels of physical activity for the animals began to diminish soon after the reduced-calorie diet began. When caloric intake was further reduced in the second month, physical activity in the monkeys diminished even further.”

A comparison group of three monkeys was fed a normal monkey diet and was trained to exercise for one hour daily on a treadmill. This comparison group did lose weight.

The study, published in the april edition of the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, shows that due to a natural mechanism, energy is conserved in response to a reduction in calories. Food is not always enough for humans and animals and the body seems to have developed a strategy for responding to these fluctuations. This mechanism will help the health professionals to advise better to tackle childhood obesity and problems in being overweight and that, both diet and exercise are important to lose weight.

“A proper weight management constitutes of two basic aspects: balanced diet and regular exercise. Eating right and what type of exercise suits an individual better depends on the current body weight, body fat percentage and basic body composition. In order to burn off the calories, one needs to exercise and follow a realistic fitness plan. Taking up random exercises may end up harming you, rather than being beneficial to your health,” says weight management expert Venu Hirani.


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