New study says increased exercise doesn’t always lead to burning more calories throughout the day

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It seems the human body tries to balance itself out all the time. This makes sense if you think about it. Your body is always trying to survive. If you fast your body’s metabolism will slow so you don’t starve to death too quickly. If you eat frequently your metabolism fires up in order to try to get rid of excess calories consumed. And now a new study shows that if you exercise too much your body will compensate by restricting calorie burn during the times you’re more sedentary.

According to new research led by the University of Roehampton and published on 16 August 2021, people who take part in regular exercise burn fewer calories on body maintenance than people who don’t do any strenuous activity, dramatically reducing the calorie-burning gains of exercise.

Using data from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Doubly-labelled water database of over 1,750 adults, researchers found that the calories the body burns to exist (known as basal energy expenditure, basal metabolic rate or BMR for short) decreases by 28% during periods when daily exercise levels are consistently high.

BMR accounts for approximately 60–75% of total daily energy expenditure in individuals, way more than calories burned during recreational activities such as running or cycling. A significant reduction in BMR can effectively counterbalance the positive calorie-burning effects of frequent exercising.

In short, the more we exercise over the long term, the fewer calories our bodies burn for the most rudimentary activities, therefore reducing the overall calories we burn per day.

Regular exercise may hinder weight loss says new research but I disagree – here’s why | T3

Don’t stop exercising though! My take away from the recent news on this and the energy balance model versus the carbohydrate insulin model is the secret to losing or maintaining your weight is some combination of all this information that is customized to the person. You have to learn what is right for you.

The energy balance model simply says you have to expend more calories than you take in to lose weight. I think this is true to an extent. The carbohydrate insulin model says that reducing carbohydrates aids in weight loss or maintenance because reducing carbs in the diet makes a person more insulin sensitive which in turn prevents energy from being stored as fat. I also think this is true to an extent. Exercise will burn more calories for you throughout the day than if you did nothing at all and that could aid in weight loss and/or maintenance. I think this is true to an extent.

In my life I try to evaluate how my body reacts to certain foods. I exercise, not for weight loss, but for fitness. Diet and exercise combined serves my cause to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance as I get older. I’ll hit 55 this year and my fitness and weight goals are to simply stay around 165 lbs. to 175 lbs., be able to lift 90 lbs. to 100 lbs. in various exercises, be able to stand on one foot in various poses, and be able to touch the floor while bending forward. If I can continue this for the next 30 years I think my remaining years I can binge on Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups to my heart’s content.

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