The time of good intentions in the glow of a new year's dawn is almost upon us. But without fundamental changes your fitness won't help you against your fatness.
"Sure, You'll Be Really Healthy!"
You've seen me mention it previously: no matter how much you jog, lift, run, swim, bike or torture yourself on a crosstrainer, you can always outeat your cardio.
Yet even professional fitness trainers tell their customers that those large wads of money they receive will see the hopeful workout adept thin, slick and sleek.
Now I got some backup from the good people at Arizona State University.
70% Increased Their Weight
Glenn Gaesser and his colleagues recruited 81 overweight women, telling them they'd be taking part in a study aimed at improving endurance. That they would get fitter without needing to change their nutrition. That they, in fact, shouldn't change it.
The researchers calculated the women's BMI, body fat percentage and some other vital stats, and then put them on a treadmill. Three times per week, 30 minutes each.
12 weeks later these women had indeed improved their endurance. Unfortunately, 70% had also increased their body weight, by as much 5.5 kg (12 lbs). And most of it wasn't muscle mass, but fat mass.
The Plight Of The Compensators
These women, like many people, expended energy through fitness, but (more than) made up for it through eating more. They are what the study calls "compensators."
That all of them got fitter was a positive, of course. But if you want to get fitter and lose weight, you should monitor your weight and make changes to your diet.
When I lost weight, the first thing I put in place was the diet. Only then I thought about the fitness part.
Picture courtesy of Garry Knight.