Scientists Weigh in

Scientists Weigh in

Break a Sweat (More Often)
We’ve said it before—you can’t just cut calories. Now yet another study backs us up. In a recent animal trial, researchers at Oregon HEalth and Science University found that overweight monkeys who were put on a lower-calorie diet lost almost no weight. When monkeys were encouraged to be more active but continued to eat their regular diet, the pounds still flew off. No matter your species, you’ve got to burn more calories through exercise to lose your extra flab.

Treat Food Like a Dog
A drug addict’s brain reacts similarly to the brain of overweight individuals, according to a recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The common thread is that the body needs to consume ever-increasing amounts of both substances to keep producing dopamine, the chemical that triggers feelings of joy. Cut back on the amount you’re eating and dopamine levels fall. That may lead to bad moods, withdrawal symptoms, and out-of-control binging. Meaning, if you’re really having a problem kicking excess weight, consider seeing an addiction specialist.

Train on an Empty Stomach
A new European study notes that cyclists burn more fat when riding “on empty” than following a pre-workout meal. The researchers say that being hungry apparently helps the body to keep adrenaline high and blood sugar low—an ideal formula for the oxidation of fat. The only drawback is that without food or energy, it’s hard to make big workout gains. The solution? Go into one to two workouts a week hungry and eat before the others.

Think Weekly, Not Daily
New government guidelines recommend that you track workouts in hours, not days. Each week, shoot for 75 minutes of intense activity, such as swimming, or 150 minutes of moderate activity, like walking on a treadmill. Miss a workout? Just make up the time as soon as you can.

Log on, Get Lean
Too much YouTube won’t keep you lean but clicking on other sites might. A new study reports that guys who regularly log on to dieting sites to track their weight loss are able to lose more weight—and keep it off—than guys who don’t. Experts say the sites create a sense of accountability that’s useful in maintaining set goals.

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