Science has found why many people don’t see discernible results to their waistline after they join a gym.
A new study has revealed that exercise could cause people to gain weight rather than lose it.
It’s because people who do regular exercise eat more as they believe they ‘deserve it,’ the team of researchers said.
In the study, the participants were found to have increased their portion sizes by almost a quarter after doing a sweaty work out.
The study was conducted at Loughborough University, which has produced famed sporting alumni including Clive Woodward, Paula Radcliffe, and Sebastian Coe.
Study author and senior lecturer in nutrition Dr Lewis James said: ‘[When it comes to weight loss] aside from what we eat, a critical factor is how much we eat.
‘The results of the present study suggest that knowledge of a future exercise session results in an increase in planned energy intake at a meal after exercise, at least in habitual exercisers.’
In the research, the scientists asked 40 volunteers to participate in aerobic class for at least thrice a week.
The group of volunteers, half of which were men, were also weighed, and asked about their eating habits on a ‘rest day’ and after a work out.
‘Individuals chose a larger portion size – a 24 per cent increase in energy content of food served [after classes],’ the researchers wrote in the journal Appetite.
‘This increase in planned energy intake might attenuate the negative energy balance induced by exercise, and consequently might reduce any weight loss with chronic exercise training.’
Almost all of the participants increased their lunch-time portions by 150 calories after working out, the study found.
They also upped their chocolate consumption by 20 per cent, with females eating it slightly more than their male counterparts.
‘Typically, there is an initial weight loss,’ the researchers said. ‘However, after this, the rate of weight loss attenuates, or weight becomes stable over time.
‘This finding suggests aerobic exercise might impact meal planning, at least in regular exercisers, which might account for some of the reasons behind stabilization of weight loss.’
Exercise can help lose weight only when it’s combined with a healthy diet, the study concluded.
‘Statistics suggest the prevalence of overweight and obesity continue to rise, with 61 per cent of UK adults currently classified as overweight or obese,’ Dr James said.
‘Weight gain occurs due to energy intake greater than energy expenditure, leading to accumulation of fat in adipose tissue.
‘Increasing physical activity, particularly aerobic activity, is one method of increasing energy expenditure that has been suggested to assist with weight management.’
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