It's well known that exercise and a controlled diet are the cornerstones to weight management and healthy living. You'll hear different sayings thrown around, such as "it's 20% exercise and 80% diet!" or "just start exercising and everything else will fall into place". I'm not here to agree or disagree with those kind of statements, however, it is worth nothing that exercise indisputably has an impact on weight management.
The traditional method of weight management is to ensure that your caloric intake is lower than your energy output, usually by about 500 calories a day if you are looking to lose 1 pound of body fat a week. This very basic way of monitoring your activity and food intake should hypothetically lead to a very straight forward path to weight loss or gain, but in reality it is never that simple.
The ratio of macro nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) that are taken is is also important for managing body development, along with high level of physical activity, the latter of which I will be touching on.
In an interesting post over at the MASS journal, some anecdotal research shows that physical activity has a great impact on weight management outside of just the traditional calories-in/calories-out mindset. When test subjects exhibited HIGH levels of physical activity, body self-regulation of satiety and hunger was much more accurate than with those at low levels of physical activity. In fact, for the individuals no to little regular activity, the accuracy of how "full" one would feel became very inaccurate when compared to how much food as actually needed to sustain function. This poor response to the feelings of hunger leads to general weight gain, which is then compounded by the effect of having extra body fat, which further decreases the accuracy of perceiving feelings of being full or hungry.
A great way to go about utilizing this information in your own program is to examine just how active you are. If you are serious about losing weight, to truly maximize your weight loss potential it is important you stay in the "high" physical activity range. This doesn't have to mean that you are hitting a cycling class for an hour every day, but can be as simple as getting out of your chair once an hour to walk around, get some strength training in a few days a week, or go for a short walk each morning and evening. The more active you are, the more accurate your body will be with self regulating weight management, to a point. There is evidence that suggests that at very high levels of physical activity the self regulation mechanisms flattens out it's curve of accuracy, but that is not likely a concern of most individuals.
Have further questions on how to manage weight or increase physical activity in your life? Shoot us a message and we'd be happy to help!