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Bodyweight Variations and Metabolic Compensations

Weight loss is likely the most sought after goal exercise programs. Self-proclaimed gurus and DVD divas are constantly coming up with new movements and methods to optimize caloric expenditure per given time segment. And while some programs falsely flaunt +1,000 kcal/hour workouts, research has indicated these claims are simply not true. In a recent study published in Obesity (2012), investigators cited the less than expected caloric expenditure associated with common exercise regimens. Weight loss expectations remain high when engaging in routine physical activity but weight loss resulting from an exercise intervention tends to be significantly lower than predicted. Additionally, repeated studies have shown that many people who begin an exercise program lose little or no weight while others actually gain weight. Researchers comparing weight loss to actual expenditure conclude that the small magnitude of weight loss observed from the majority of evaluated exercise interventions is primarily due to low doses of prescribed exercise energy expenditures compounded by a concomitant increase in caloric intake. So while some people believe they should lose weight because they perform exercise, most of them do not engage in enough exercise to offset the calories consumed.

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