Nancy Dell; Exercise to lose weight; losing fat while gaining muscle

The body adapts when you do too much exercise

1. How much exercise should I do to lose weight?
Julie, Internet

You would think the more exercise you do, the more calories you burn, and the more weight you would lose. But this may not be the case.

Recent studies show couch potatoes need to move to lose weight. But if you are already active, increasing your exercise may not increase the calories you burn. Researchers from City University of New York followed 300 people for a week. They measured how much activity they did and how many calories they burned.

They found that people who did little activity saw some increase in the calories they burned all day when they increased their exercise. However, people who were already really active did not burn more calories for the day when they increased their exercise.

Somehow, the body adapts when you do too much exercise, so you do not burn extra calories. So more is not always better.

More research is needed to find what level of exercise is just enough to burn calories and lose weight efficiently with out wasting your time doing too much.

There is research that shows a little exercise every hour is good. People who sit all day at work or watching TV see a big drop in metabolism – even if they worked out in the morning. The studies show you can get up and move around, do some squats – anything to get your blood pumping for 1 min each hour – to keep your metabolism from slowing down. And if you are in an active job, reducing food is your best way to lose weight.

2. Is it possible to gain muscle while you lose fat?
Kyle, Internet

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you can build muscle and lose fat.

In the study, men cut calories by 40 percent, lifted weights and ate about 1 gram of protein per pound of their body weight.  So a 200 pound man ate 200 grams of protein. This combination increased muscle while losing fat.

Men who ate half a gram of protein per pound of body weight maintained their muscle. That is still good. We do not want to lose muscle, because muscle is what keep our metabolism burning lots of calories. So be sure to lift weights and eat enough protein.

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