The science of weight loss: Part 2

Can exercise fix a “broken” metabolism.

James Hill, PhD, at the University of Colorado tells us “People used to come into the doctor’s office and say, ‘My metabolism is broken.’ We never had any evidence that it actually was, until recently. We were wrong – it was!”

Exercise really can help your metabolism to recover.

“A lot of what we know in this area comes from NASA, and the bed-rest studies,” Hill says. “Within a couple of days of non-activity, the metabolism becomes inflexible. You start moving again, and it does start to change.” Your metabolism may not ever get back to where it was but the evidence indicates that it can indeed recover, largely through your moving your body every day.

This is why exercise is critical in the maintenance phase, which is well known to be more difficult than the weight loss phase.  Regular daily exercise will help you to lose weight as well as to maintain that loss as long as it is combined with good healthy changes in your diet.stk327240rkn

Essentially, exercise buys us some wiggle room, Michael Jensen, MD at the Mayo Clinic says. “Exercise is very, very important for maintaining lost weight, and people who are not physically active are more likely to gain weight. We think it’s partly because in the extra calories burned from physical activity, you have a bit more flexibility in food intake, so you’re not so much relying on ridged changes in eating habits; it makes it more tolerable.”

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