the binge-eating files » Exercise

Exercise-related issues and binge eating, food addiction, weight

The ‘dirty bulk’ and ‘quick cut’ are both crash diets. Neither work.  The Globe and Mail (Oct 10, 2022) by Paul Landini — … Whether it’s boxing, mixed martial arts or bodybuilding, crash dieting is the not-so-secret shame of all weight-sensitive sports. The idea is to be the biggest-yet-leanest in your particular weight class in order to have a size and/or strength advantage over your opponents; to achieve this, athletes often go to extremes … more

Women losing their periods because of restrictive diets and excessive exercise. UK eating disorder charity Beat says problem, fuelled by social media, increasing even among those who are not underweight   The Guardian (Jan 6, 2022) by Sarah Marsh –  An increasing number of women are losing their monthly periods because they are following a social media trend for restrictive diets and excessive exercise, experts say. Charity heads and nutritionists have raised the alarm about the increase in hypothalamic amenorrhea, a condition where the body enters survival mode because it is under-fuelled, causing menstruation to stop. It is a reversible disorder caused by stress related to weight loss, excessive exercise and trauma. … more

How Exercise Affects Metabolism and Weight Loss: A new analysis of data from “The Biggest Loser” highlights the complex ways the body compensates when we drop pounds.  New York Times (Dec 15, 2021) by Gretchen Reynolds — Many of us remember “The Biggest Loser,” the somewhat notorious reality television show that ran for more than a decade starting in 2004, in which contestants competed feverishly to drop massive amounts of weight over a short period of time … Media coverage of the contestants years later, though, seemed to tell a different story, of weight regain and slowed metabolisms … more

When exercise was taking over my life, this is how I forged a new perspective: During panic attacks, high school student says she exercised ‘until my muscles were sore, my body burned’   CBC First Person (Apr 11, 2021) by Jacqueline Chen — A couple of months into the pandemic, I started experiencing frequent panic attacks. They could happen anywhere, anytime, but the feelings were always the same: I had a sudden urge to exercise and to do it right there and then. My mind’s perception of my body suddenly changed drastically. I am huge. I am ugly. I need to exercise. … more

Losing weight through exercise: Why physical activity entices you to eat more – and how to fight it   ScienceDaily (Apr 7, 2021) – Worldwide 39 percent of the adults were overweight in 2016, according to statistics of the World Health Organization. Concurrently millions of people want to lose weight. One way to do this is exercising. But what influence does sport have on (direct) eating habits? … more

Study links eating disorders with body dysmorphia: Research finds rate of body dysmorphia is 12 times higher among gymgoers with eating issues   ScienceDaily (Oct 13, 2020) – People with eating disorders are 12 times more likely to be preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance than those without, according to new research. … more

Here’s how exercise reduces anxiety and makes you feel more connected   Washington Post (Jan 21, 2020) by Kelly McGonigal – We all know exercise makes your body healthier and helps you live longer. A growing body of research shows exercise is also linked to a wide range of mood-based and social benefits. People who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of purpose, feel more gratitude, are more connected to their communities, and are less likely to be lonely or anxious. … more

Move Your Body, Bolster Your Brain  New York Times (Dec 20, 2019)  by Gretchen Reynolds – Exercise doesn’t just strengthen your muscles, it can also be good for your mind and memory … What’s good for your muscles can also be good for your mind.  A single, moderate workout may immediately change how our brains function and how well we recognize common names and similar information, according to a promising new study of exercise, memory and aging. The study adds to growing evidence that exercise can have rapid effects on brain function and also that these effects could accumulate and lead to long-term improvements in how our brains operate and we remember. … more

Why Exercise Alone May Not Be the Key to Weight Loss   New York Times (Apr 11, 2018) by Gretchen Reynolds –  If you give a mouse a running wheel, it will run. But it may not burn many additional calories, because it will also start to move differently when it is not on the wheel, according to an interesting new study of the behaviors and metabolisms of exercising mice. The study, published in Diabetes, involved animals, but it could have cautionary implications for people who start exercising in the hopes of losing weight. In recent years, study after study examining exercise and weight loss among people and animals has concluded that, by itself, exercise is not an effective way to drop pounds. … more

Exercise in Futility    The Atlantic (April 2016) by Olga Khazan – What if physical activity doesn’t help people lose weight? New research suggests working out might slow metabolism down. In the United States, people are working out more than ever, but the obesity epidemic has only gotten worse. … more

Good news! You’re likely burning more calories than you thought when you’re walkingScienceDaily (Mar 15, 2016) – Leading standardized equations that predict the number of calories burned under level walking conditions are relatively inaccurate — counting too few calories in 97 percent of cases, say researchers. The standards — in place for close to half a century and based on data from limited people — assume one size fits all. Researchers have now developed a new standardized equation that data indicates is up to four times more accurate. … more

Gym bunnies are wasting their time, study suggests The Telegraph (Jan 28, 2016) by Laura Donnelly – Hitting the gym in the hope of burning up calories to lose weight can backfire as the body adapts to higher activity levels, according to new research. … more

Exercise alone does not help in losing weight  ScienceDaily (Aug 17, 2015) – Physical activity has many health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer to improving mental health and mood. But contrary to common belief, exercise does not help you lose weight, public health scientists report. …more

Sugar and carbs are the obesity culprits, not lack of exercise Medical News Today (MNT) (Apr 23, 2015) – Bad    diet is a lifestyle cause of obesity, but a lack of exercise is not, says an editorial reviewing controversial questions about this established health risk. The article published in a journal from The BMJ says the problem “cannot be outrun by exercise.” more …

For obese teen girls, aerobic exercise may trump resistance training in health benefits   ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2013) — Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the United States in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention … SoJung Lee of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and her colleagues recently showed that when obese adolescent boys increased physical activity alone, they improved several markers of health…To see if physical activity might work in the same way for obese adolescent girls, Lee and her colleagues performed a new study that compared the health effects of two different types of exercise — aerobic exercise and weight lifting — over three months to remaining sedentary.  Link

How exercise changes fat and muscle cells  (July 31, 2013)  by Gretchen Reynolds – Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree. Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate.   Link

Can exercise protect the brain from fatty foods?    The New York Times: Well (Nov. 7, 2012) by Gretchen Reynolds – In recent years, some research has suggested that a high-fat diet may be bad for the brain, at least in lab animals. Can exercise protect against such damage? That question may have particular relevance now, with the butter-and cream-laden holidays fast approaching. And it has prompted several new and important studies.  The most captivating of these, presented last month at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans, began with scientists at the University of Minnesota teaching a group of rats to scamper from one chamber to another when they heard a musical tone, an accepted measure of the animals’ ability to learn and remember.  For the next four months, half of the rats ate normal chow. The others happily consumed a much greasier diet, consisting of at least 40 percent fat. Total calories were the same in both diets.  Link

Overweight teens get mental health boost from even small amounts of exercise   ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2012) — Being obese at any age is commonly associated with a litany of health issues, ranging from diabetes and chronic fatigue to heart complications. Overweight adolescents are also at an increased risk of body dissatisfaction, social alienation and low self esteem, which is why Dr. Gary Goldfield, registered psychologist, clinical researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, set out to discover how exercise might impact these factors in teens, as reported October 1 in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.   Link

How exercise can help you master new skills  The New York Times: Health (Sep. 26, 2012) by Gretchen Reynolds – Can you improve your body’s ability to remember by making it move? That rather odd-seeming question stimulated researchers at the University of Copenhagen to undertake a reverberant new examination of just how the body creates specific muscle memories and what role, if any, exercise plays in the process.  Link

Do less exercise, lose more weight: Is it really that easy?    The Globe and Mail (Sep. 19 2012) by Carly Weeks – In  the world of weight loss and exercise, the age-old adage states that if you don’t feel pain, you won’t see a gain. In other words, losing weight means work. Hard work.  However, a new study is questioning that truism and highlighting the fact many of us may be unwittingly sabotaging our efforts.  The study, by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, found that moderate amounts of exercise may actually lead to greater weight loss.    Link

Exercise may affect food motivation   ScienceDaily (Sep. 12, 2012) — It is commonly assumed that you can “work up an appetite” with a vigorous workout. Turns out that theory may not be completely accurate — at least immediately following exercise.  New research out of BYU shows that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning actually reduces a person’s motivation for food.   Link

Changing our tune on exercise    New York Times: Well (Aug. 27, 2012) by Jane E. Brody – What  would it take to persuade you to exercise?  A desire to lose weight or improve your figure? To keep heart disease, cancer or diabetes at bay? To lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? To protect your bones? To live to a healthy old age?  You’d think any of those reasons would be sufficient to get Americans exercising, but scores of studies have shown otherwise…Now research by psychologists strongly suggests it’s time to stop thinking of future health, weight loss and body image as motivators for exercise. Instead, these experts recommend a strategy marketers use to sell products: portray physical activity as a way to enhance current well-being and happiness.   Link

30 minutes of daily exercise as good as 60 for weight loss    Medical News Today (Aug 23, 2012) – A new study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that sedentary, slightly overweight healthy young men who worked up a sweat exercising 30 minutes daily for three months lost a similar amount of weight and body fat as those who did 60 minutes of daily exercise.   Link

When working out is too much of a good thing   Reuters (Jun. 4, 2012) by Dorene Internicola – Constantly thinking about the next workout? Upset about missing a exercise class? Fitness experts say more is not always better and overworking a workout can sap strength and invite injury…”Exercise is like a drug, if you don’t have enough, you get no benefits, if you have too much, you have problems”…  Link

How exercise affects the brain: Age and genetics play a role   ScienceDaily (May 18, 2012) — Exercise clears the mind. It gets the blood pumping and more oxygen is delivered to the brain. This is familiar territory, but Dartmouth’s David Bucci thinks there is much more going on. In the last several years there have been data suggesting that neurobiological changes are happening — [there are] very brain-specific mechanisms at work here … Link

Why exercise may not lead to weight loss   The Globe and Mail (May 13, 2012) by Alex Hutchinson  – There’s no doubt that exercise burns calories. So why has study after study found such modest average weight loss even after subjects follow relatively vigorous, well-designed exercise programs? … Break down the study results, and you find that exercise is highly effective at melting off pounds for some people, and ineffective for others. Scientists are now teasing out the factors that explain these different responses – and poking holes in weight-loss plans that promise one-size-fits-all success.  Link

How exercise could lead to a better brain   New York Times (Apr. 18, 2012) by Gretchen Reynolds – The value of mental-training games may be speculative …but there is another, easy-to-achieve, scientifically proven way to make yourself smarter. Go for a walk or a swim. For more than a decade, neuroscientists and physiologists have been gathering evidence of the beneficial relationship between exercise and brainpower. But the newest findings make it clear that this isn’t just a relationship; it is the relationship.  Link

How exercise can prime the brain for addiction   New York Times (Apr. 11, 2012) by Gretchen Reynolds – Statistically, people who exercise are much less likely than inactive people to abuse drugs or alcohol. But can exercise help curb addictions? Some research shows that exercise may stimulate reward centers in the brain, helping to ease cravings for drugs or other substances. But according to an eye-opening new study of cocaine-addicted mice, dedicated exercise may in some cases make it even harder to break an addiction.  Link

A daily walk can reduce the power of weight-gaining genes:  Why walking works: it not only burns calories, but it also counteracts the effects of your fattening genes Healthland (Mar. 15, 2012) by Alice Park – Body weight, like so many of our individual characteristics, is the combined result of the genes we’re born with and the way we live our lives — how much and what we eat, and whether we exercise. The question is, how much does one influence the other?  In a new study … researchers offer evidence that lifestyle can actually change the effect our genes have on the number on the scale.  Link

Exercise triggers stem cells in muscle   ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2012) — University of Illinois researchers determined that an adult stem cell present in muscle is responsive to exercise, a discovery that may provide a link between exercise and muscle health. The findings could lead to new therapeutic techniques using these cells to rehabilitate injured muscle and prevent or restore muscle loss with age.  Link

Health benefits of exercise may depend on cellular degradation  ScienceDaily (Jan. 20, 2012) – The health benefits of exercise on blood sugar metabolism may come from the body’s ability to devour itself, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in the journal NatureLink

Obesity rates stall, but no decline   New York Times: Well (Jan. 17, 2012) by Tara Parker-Pope – After two decades of steady increases, obesity rates in adults and children in the United States have remained largely unchanged during the past 12 years, a finding that suggests national efforts at promoting healthful eating and exercise are having little effect on the overweight… Although from a statistical standpoint, overall obesity rates haven’t changed in more than a decade, the latest analysis did detect some changes in the prevalence of obesity in certain groups. For instance, men and boys have become fatter since 1999, and so have non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American women. Although those trends were only recently detected in the data, there have been no significant increases in obesity prevalence since the 2003-4 survey.  Link

Winner of $50,000 health prize calls for new strategy: ‘You can be obese and fit’   Globe and Mail (Jan. 11, 2012) by Kim Mackrael – If you want to live a long and healthy life, your best bet is to get off the couch, not cut the carbohydrates. That’s the message developed from years of research by Steven Blair, an exercise researcher at the University of South Carolina and the first winner of Canada’s Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health.   Link

Could obesity change the brain?   NPR’s Health Blog: Shots (Dec.28, 2011) by Nancy Shute – The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese. If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on. Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight. Link

Drop that cookie! Even briefly overeating has lasting effects (Aug. 24, 2010) by Jeanna Bryner – The effects of a sedentary, gluttonous lifestyle are hard to shake, even after the person has become an upstanding, healthy individual, a new Swedish study suggests.   Researchers found that even a short period of overeating and a lack of exercise can have lasting effects on a person’s physiology and make it harder to lose weight and keep it off.   Link

Long-term physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level   ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2009) — Intensive exercise prevented shortening of telomeres, a protective effect against aging of the cardiovascular system, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association…”This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system…”   Link

Just a little exercise can boost body image (Oct. 8, 2009) — Want to feel good about yourself? Just get off the couch and do a little exercise. You don’t even have to get real serious, a new study finds.  Link

Excessive exercise can be addicting, new study says   ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2009) — Although exercise is good for your health, extreme exercise may be physically addicting. Rats given a drug that produces withdrawal in heroin addicts went into withdrawal after running excessively in exercise wheels, according to new research. Rats that ran the hardest had the most severe withdrawal symptoms.  Link

When eating disorders strike in midlife   New York Times: Health (July 13, 2009) by Randi Hutter Epstein —  No one has precise statistics on who is affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, often marked by severe weight loss, or binge eating, which can lead to obesity. But experts say that in the past 10 years they are treating an increasing number of women over 30 who are starving themselves, abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and engaging in all of the self-destructive activities that had, for so long, been considered teenage behaviors.  Link

Exercise not likely to rev up your metabolism (May 26, 2009) by Jacqueline Stenson  — Start exercising and you’ll become a round-the-clock, fat-burning machine, right? That’s long been a commonly held belief among exercisers and fitness experts alike. But a new report finds that, sadly, it’s not very likely.  The notion that exercise somehow boosts the body’s ability to burn fat for as long as 24 hours after a workout has led to a misperception among the general public that diet doesn’t matter so much as long as one exercises…   Link

Blow your diet? Blame your brain (May 13, 2009) by Linda Carroll — Ever make a resolution to go out and exercise and end up grabbing a gooey chocolate cupcake instead?  No matter how good our intentions are, sometimes it seems like our stomachs are out to sabotage us. Scientists are now starting to understand why this happens.   Link

Vitamins found to curb exercise benefits  New York Times (May 11, 2009) by Nicholas Wade – If you exercise to improve your metabolism and prevent diabetes, you may want to avoid antioxidants like vitamins C and E.  That is the message of a surprising new look at the body’s reaction to exercise, reported on Monday by researchers in Germany and Boston.  Link

Increased food intake alone explains rise in obesity in United States, study finds   ScienceDaily (May 8, 2009) — New research that uses an innovative approach to study, for the first time, the relative contributions of food and exercise habits to the development of the obesity epidemic has concluded that the rise in obesity in the United States since the 1970s was virtually all due to increased energy intake.  Link

Eating less may not extend human life: caloric restriction may benefit only obese mice   ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2009) — If you are a mouse on the chubby side, then eating less may help you live longer.  For lean mice – and possibly for lean humans, the authors of a new study predict – the anti-aging strategy known as caloric restriction may be a pointless, frustrating and even dangerous exercise.    Link

Keeping the weight off:  Which obesity treatment is most successful?  ScienceDaily (Dec. 12, 2008) — Severely obese patients who have lost significant amounts of weight by changing their diet and exercise habits may be as successful in keeping the weight off long-term as those individuals who lost weight after bariatric surgery, according to a new study published online by the International Journal of Obesity.   Link

For the overweight, bad advice by the spoonful   New York Times: Health Guide (Aug. 30, 2007) by Gina Kolata —Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. For most, research shows, neither diets nor moderate exercise brings significant long-term weight loss.  In brief:  weight control is not simply a matter of willpower; genes help determine the body’s “set point,” which is defended by the brain; dieting alone is rarely successful, and relapse rates are high; moderate exercise, too, rarely results in substantive long-term weight loss, which requires intensive exercise.  Link

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