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Exercise Keeps Dangerous Fat Away a Year After Weight Loss E-mail
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A study conducted by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Human Studies exercise physiologists in the concludes that as little as 80 minutes a week of exercise  helps prevent weight gain, and helps inhibit a regain of visceral fat up to one year after weight loss. Visceral fat is the most dangerous type of fat because visceral fat often surrounds vital organs. The more visceral fat one has, the greater is the chance of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The study was published online Oct. 8 and will appear in a future print edition of the journal Obesity.

In the study, the researchers randomly assigned 45 European-American and 52 African-American women to three groups: resistance training, aerobic training, or no exercise. All of the participants were placed on an 800 calorie-a-day diet and lost an average 24 pounds. Researchers then measured total fat, abdominal subcutaneous fat and visceral fat for each participant.

Afterward, participants in the two exercise groups were asked to continue exercising 40 minutes twice a week for one year. After a year, participants were divided into five groups: those who maintained their resistance training, those who stopped resistance training, those who maintained aerobic exercise training, those who stopped aerobic training and those who were never placed on an exercise regimen.

“What we found was that those who continued exercising, despite modest weight regains, regained zero percent visceral fat a year after they lost the weight,” according to UAB exercise physiologist Gary Hunter, Ph.D.,. “But those who stopped exercising, and those who weren’t put on any exercise regimen at all, averaged about a 33 percent increase in visceral fat.”
The study found that exercise was equally effective for both races.

“Because other studies have reported that much longer training durations of 60 minutes a day are necessary to prevent weight regain, it’s not too surprising that weight regain was not totally prevented in this study,” writes Hunter. “It’s encouraging, however, that this relatively small [amount] of exercise was sufficient to prevent visceral fat gain.”


 
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