Thursday, March 6, 2008

Who would do this?

While many people spend their adult lives trying to lose weight, a study published in the online edition of Gut looks at students who were asked to gain 5% to 15% of their body weight in one month by eating at least two meals a day at fast-food restaurants and adopting a sedentary lifestyle. For a 150 pound person this means a weight gain of 7.5-22.5 pounds.

I don’t know many people who would agree to sabotage their body in this way, but I’m thinking the researchers must have been paying them pretty well. It’s disturbing to think that by eating out just two meals a day and not exercising the students gained an average of 14 pounds.

The results of this study prove that by making small lifestyle changes in the opposite direction, we can make big improvements to our health. I think the takeaway is that if you can gain 14 pounds by starting to eat fast-food more and not exercising, you can lose just as much by reversing those actions.

It’s also important to make healthy choices when we do have eat out at fast-food establishments. If you end up going out to eat quite often try counterbalancing that with a little bit of exercise throughout the day.