Who Says Exercise Wonít Help You Lose Weight?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  53 comments   :  22,094 Views

There are a number of factors that go into determining our size and shape. Although a significant portion is related to lifestyle choices, genetics also plays a part. You might have noticed that you tend to carry weight like your mother (or father), and that many of your family members have the same basic shape- although they may be different sizes based on their lifestyles and habits.

Of course your lifestyle choices have a huge impact on your health. But if youíre like me, at a certain point you recognized that youíre never going to be a size 0 supermodel because youíre just not built that way. But itís not fair to blame your weight solely on your genes, and new research is analyzing the behaviors that can reduce the effect of genetics on weight loss.

The research, published in PLoS Medicine, studied 12 genetic variants that increase the risk of obesity, and also tracked the physical activity levels of over 20,000 participants. Researchers found that "physical activity can reduce the genetic tendency toward obesity by 40%."

The researchers also said that moderate activity for 30 minutes per day is a good start to reducing the effect of your genes on your size. So itís not like you have to exercise for hours each day or run marathons in order to reap the benefits.

Last year, Time magazine ran a cover story titled "Why Exercise Wonít Make You Thin." It drew a lot of controversy when it questioned the importance of physical activity if youíre trying to lose weight. Coach Dean wrote a very informative blog about this article and why it shouldnít keep you from getting off of the couch and out the door to the gym.

What do you think? Do studies like this give you more resolve to change your habits and take control of your lifestyle choices?

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  • 3
    I had a friend that bought into what Gary Taubes was saying (high fat, no carbs, no exercise will help you lose weight). Ignoring everything about physiology -_-. - 10/5/2010   10:54:04 AM
  • 2
    I blame my weight gain on a basically rebellious nature that had me thinking that no one could tell me what to do, or, I deserve to eat just as much as my skinny hubby, etc. my mom and dad were both thinner, one due to genetics and one due to careful self control. I never cultivated that in myself. Now I'm reaping the benefits of my self indulgence. - 10/5/2010   10:39:09 AM
  • 1
    Well, neither my father nor mother carry any weight, dad is very fit and healthy too and they both eat well so I am the only one to blame for my size. I was slim (ish) up until I left home and then the bad habits sunk in and the clothes size crept up.

    I am the only one who can change my life and the spark sucess stories show that those can WANT to do it, and TRY to do it, end up with the results they want. - 10/5/2010   10:24:17 AM

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