Regular Exercise Maintains Daily Caloric Expenditure After Weight Loss

More than 66 percent of Americans are obese or overweight. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, back pain, poor metabolic health and premature death. A recent Gallup poll found that 51 percent of Americans want to lose weight, while only 26 percent are making a serious effort to do so. Weight maintenance is extremely difficult. Ninety-five percent of people who lose weight will gain it back again within a year. One reason for this is that metabolic rate slows after weight loss, making it extremely difficult to maintain the losses. An important study led by Gary Hunter from the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that aerobic or resistance exercise helps maintain metabolic rate after weight loss. Researchers studied physically inactive, obese middle-aged women who lost an average of 25 pounds. One group did aerobics, another group lifted weights, while another was sedentary. The exercise groups, particularly the resistance trainers, were able to maintain metabolic rate (calorie burning) after weight loss, which is extremely important for preventing weight regain. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 47: 1950-1957, 2015)

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