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Weight Loss Made Harder by Short Term Overeating

If you think that you can diet and get slim, then follow on with a few weeks of overeating and then diet again and it will all come off, you might be in for a nasty shock.

According to the latest Swedish research, it appears that unhealthy living and overeating even just for a month can change physiology, which makes the accumulated fat harder to lose.

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

If you were ever stuck on a diet and not losing any more pounds, this may answer at least some of your questions.

weight loss newsThe study was co-authored by Dr. Torbjorn Lindstrom, an associate professor at Linkoping University working in the health sciences faculty in the department of medical and health science. He and his colleagues have reported their findings in the latest issue of Nutrition and Metabolism.

The study focused on a group of 18 healthy participants of normal weight (12 men and six women), with an average age of 26 years. Lindstrom said,

"A short period of [over-eating] can have later long-term effects. Based on this, it can be recommended to avoid very high food-intake that might occur during shorter periods in normal life."

Sedentary Lifestyle

For a period of one month, the 18 participants were placed on a sedentary lifestyle of restricted physical activity involving the equivalent of less than 5,000 steps per day. This figure is noted by the team as being the threshold for sedentary living, where a more physically active lifestyle would involve taking more than 10,000 steps.

The group also consumed a 70 percent increase caloric intake on a daily basis, which came mainly from fast or junk food. This amounted to about 5,750 calories per day. A control group who did not change their diet or daily activity rate were used as a comparison.

Weight and Fat Gain

After one month, the group gained body mass by an average of 14 pounds each, while their fat mass was found to specifically have increased from around 20 percent of their total body weight, to almost 24 percent.

The group lost on average more than 10 pounds of their additional size over the next six months. However, it was found that a year after the end of the study, the group still registered a higher level of fat mass, on average about 3 pounds, when compared with their levels before the start of the study.

The extra fat had remained despite returning to a healthy diet and more active life.

Long Term Findings

More disturbing was that two and a half years after the study ended, the group were again measured and found by researchers to register just under 7 pounds of extra fat, on average. The control group who had maintained a healthy lifestyle through this period had no change in their body fat percentage.

The researchers concluded that even such a brief period of over-eating together with low activity levels, may alter body composition leading to a significant increase in fat levels stored in the body. These changes appear to continue even though the group returned to a healthier lifestyle.


Posted on Thu, 26 Aug 2010 in News | 0 Comments

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