Diet not enough: Exercise, support drops more weight

Posted on Oct 12, 2010 in Uncategorized





To increase your steps:

Take 100 steps around your office or home about every hour. Program your computer to remind you when it’s time to take a break.

At the office, don’t e-mail or call anyone within 400 feet of you. Instead, walk to that person and give him or her the message.

Take the long way to the restroom.

Take a couple of quick laps around the mall before you start shopping.

Walk one city block, about 200 steps.

Take a brisk walk during your lunch break for about 20 minutes or so, about 2,000 steps.

Walk four laps around the track at a high school, 2,000 steps.

Play basketball game for 30 minutes, more than 4,300 steps.

Low-impact aerobic dancing for 20 minutes, more than 2,500 steps.

Play soccer for 1 hour, 8,000 to 10,000 steps.

Benefits of a pedometer

Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re active. For the real test of your physical activity, get a pedometer. Clip it to your waistband and wear it from the time you get out of bed until you go to sleep at night.

Keep track for two or three days, then use these “steps per day” numbers to figure out where you are:

Fewer than 4,500: You’re very sedentary

4,500-5,500: You’re sedentary

5,500 to 7,500: You’re headed in the right direction but need to step it up

8,500 and up: You’re active, stick with it

A recent study found that people who wear a pedometer walk about 2,000 more steps a day or about another mile than those who don’t. That burns about 100 extra calories a day. If your goal is to lose weight, you probably need to work up to 12,000 or more steps a day.

By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY

An intensive diet and exercise plan can melt away the pounds if dieters get the counseling and support they need to stick with it, new research shows — backing up what some successful dieters have known for years.

Currently, two-thirds of people in this country are overweight or obese, which is roughly 30 or pounds over a healthy weight. The extra pounds put people at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

In one study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recruited 130 severely obese people, average weight 264 pounds.

Participants were divided into two groups: One received diet help and physical activity guidance for a year. The diet included some free liquid meal replacements and pre-packaged frozen dinners throughout the year.

The second group had the same diet plan for the year, but they didn’t start the exercise program until six months into the study.

Participants followed a progressive exercise program, walking slowly for short periods in the beginning and building up to walking briskly for up to 60 minutes a day, five days a week. All received pedometers to track their steps with the goal of doing 10,000 steps a day.

The dieters received support from nutritionists and psychologists both in group and individual settings.

Among the findings being presented today at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in San Diego and released online in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

•At six months, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost an average of 24 pounds and had better reductions in belly fat and liver fat than those in the delayed-exercise group, who lost an average of 18 pounds.

•After a year, people in the diet-and-exercise group lost 27 pounds compared to 22 pounds in the delayed-exercise group.

“This shows that a traditional diet-and-exercise program can work for people who are very obese,” says lead author Bret Goodpaster, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

It also shows there are additional benefits for weight loss and health in exercising from the beginning of a program, he says.

“A handful of participants lost nearly 100 pounds. Most lost 30 to 40,” Goodpaster says. “It’s amazing when people came back for the six-month and 12-month assessments — you literally couldn’t recognize them.”

In another study, out today in the medical journal, researchers recruited 442 overweight and obese women who weighed an average of about 200 pounds. Those participants were divided into three groups.

Women in two of the groups received the Jenny Craig program for free. They got the company’s pre-packaged food and were provided weight-loss counseling. They were encouraged to do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, five days a week.

One group got counseling at Jenny Craig centers; the second group got advice from the company’s staff via telephone.

Women in the third group had two personalized weight-loss counseling sessions with a dietitian (not from Jenny Craig) who helped them plan a low-calorie diet and talked to them about exercise and other weight-loss behaviors. Then the women received monthly follow-up calls or emails from that expert. They were not given any free packaged foods.

Findings: After two years, the women in the center-based group had lost and kept off an average of 16 pounds; those in the telephone-based group dropped 14 and the other group lost and kept off an average of 4 ½.

Most of the weight was lost in the first year, and the study participants were largely able to maintain that loss for the second year, says Cheryl Rock, a professor in the school of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

Rock says this offers hope for people who struggling with their weight. “If people are motivated and you help them and give them strategies and support, they can lose weight and keep it off,” she says.

Strategies that lead to success: exercising regularly, planning meals, learning to cope with emotional issues in ways other than overeating, learning how to make better food choices overall, especially at restaurants, Rock says.

The study was funded by Jenny Craig, but the design of the study and analysis was done independent of the commercial diet company.