THE SMART WAY TO DROP KI­LOS

The 15 ques­tion quiz.

Men's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY CHRISTA SGOBBA

When should you sched­ule your car­dio work­out for max­i­mum fat­burn­ing im­pact? A. Be­fore break­fast B. Af­ter break­fast C. When­ever you want

C. There’s just not a whole lot of good ev­i­dence in sup­port of “fasted car­dio”, like run­ning on an empty stom­ach. While an older Bel­gian study found it could min­imise weight gain, newer re­search has failed to see any ben­e­fits. So sched­ule your car­dio ses­sion when you’re most likely to want to crush it – the best work­out plan is the one you’ll stick to, right? (Right.)

An ac­tive sex life counts as a work­out. A. Fact B. Fic­tion

B. Un­less you’re swap­ping dessert for – nudge, nudge – “dessert”, sex won’t af­fect your weight as much as you’d hope. The New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine re­ports that the av­er­age ses­sion lasts six min­utes, and a guy (early to mid-30s) is likely to burn only about 88 kilo­joules.

What’s the best way to lose weight? A. Diet B. Ex­er­cise C. Diet + car­dio D. Diet + re­sis­tance train­ing

D. If you want to shed kilo­grams, it’s not only diet or ex­er­cise – it’s both. And how you choose to sweat mat­ters. Com­bin­ing re­sis­tance train­ing with di­et­ing is the most ef­fec­tive and healthy way to re­vamp your body com­po­si­tion, help­ing you lose fat while main­tain­ing mus­cle, ac­cord­ing to a re­view and meta-anal­y­sis in the Jour­nal of Di­a­betes & Meta­bolic Dis­or­ders. For the best fat burn, pack your pro­gramme with free-weight, whole­body ex­er­cises.

How much has the av­er­age bagel grown since the mid-’90s? A. 30% B. 50% C. 70% D. 100%

D. The bagel-obe­sity cri­sis is real. Bagels have re­port­edly bal­looned from 7.5cm to 15cm in di­am­e­ter

over the past 20-odd years. That's a lot of empty carbs.

Which (of these) is best for re­duc­ing body fat if you’re strapped for time? A. Long-dis­tance run­ning B. In­ter­val train­ing

B. A re­view from Aus­tralia found that while both high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing and mod­er­ate steadys­tate train­ing can im­prove your body com­po­si­tion, you should see the same re­sults in 40% less time per week with the in­ter­vals.

Drink­ing roughly two cups of wa­ter be­fore meals can help you lose ___ in three months. A. 1.1kg B. 2.3kg C. 4.3kg

C. Yup, drink­ing wa­ter can weigh down your stom­ach, mak­ing you feel fuller so you eat less. Par­tic­i­pants in an Obe­sity study who re­ceived weight-loss coun­selling and who knocked back two cups 30 min­utes be­fore each meal lost nearly 5kg af­ter 12 weeks.

How long do you need to main­tain your weight loss to make it eas­ier to stay slim for life? A. One year B. Eight weeks C. Four months

A. As you lose weight, your body senses the kilo­joule deficit. It goes into star­va­tion mode, slow­ing your me­tab­o­lism and mak­ing it eas­ier for you to pack back on the ki­los you lost. But if you're able to keep the weight off for a year, your body ac­cepts the new nor­mal, your lev­els of ap­petite-sup­press­ing hor­mones in­crease, and the ap­petite-in­creas­ing ones fall back to your pre-weight-loss lev­els, a study from Den­mark found. That makes it eas­ier to main­tain your slim­mer physique.

Gorg­ing on car­bo­hy­dra­terich foods mostly at din­ner is worse than spread­ing carbs through­out the day. A. Fact B. Fic­tion

B. The truth: In a re­cent Obe­sity study, di­eters on a low-kilo­joule diet who saved most of their quota of carbs for the evening lost al­most 3kg more – and about an inch more off their belly – than those who spread them through­out the day. The re­searchers found that this diet tweak led to a smaller de­crease in the hunger-re­duc­ing hor­mone lep­tin, com­pared with the lep­tin de­crease in the di­eters who spread their carbs out. This might have kept them fuller for longer, lead­ing to greater ad­her­ence to their diet over time. Here's an­other tac­tic to adopt if you strug­gle to fall asleep at night: an older study showed that cer­tain kinds of carbs, like jas­mine rice, may help you get to sleep more quickly.

Los­ing about 80 min­utes of sleep for eight days may lead to a daily kilo­joule in­crease equiv­a­lent to... A. A slice of toast B. An al­mond crois­sant C. A choco­late-chip muf­fin

C. If you burn the can­dle at both ends, you might need to burn an ex­tra 2 297 kilo jloues per day, too, ac­cord­ing to re­search pre­sented in Cir­cu­la­tion – that's equal to a choco­late-chip muf­fin.

When should you eat your main meal? A. Break­fast B. Lunch C. Din­ner

A. Peo­ple who ate the most at break­fast saw a sig­nif­i­cant drop in their body mass in­dex (BMI) com­pared with those who ate the most at din­ner, a study in The Jour­nal of Nu­tri­tion found. Those who made lunch their largest meal dropped their BMI, too, but not as much as the big-break­fast eaters. The study also sup­ports the ef­fects of stop­ping eat­ing ear­lier in the evening.

Com­pared with kilo­joule count­ing, 5:2 fast­ing is... A. Sci­en­tif­i­cally su­pe­rior B. Just an­other diet

B. The 5:2 diet – re­strict­ing kilo­joules to 2 500 for two non-con­sec­u­tive days and eat­ing nor­mally for the other five – works for the same rea­son as other eat­ing plans: you're burn­ing more kilo­joules than you con­sume. In a six-month study in Nu­tri­tion & Di­etet­ics, guys ages 55 to 75 lost about the same amount of weight on the 5:2 diet as those who cut 2 100 kilo­joules a day from av­er­age en­ergy re­quire­ments.

Tak­ing a “break” from your diet will stall your re­sults. A. Fact B. Fic­tion

B. Step­ping away from kilo­joule-count­ing might ac­tu­ally be bet­ter for your body than stick­ing to it con­tin­u­ously, Aus­tralian re­searchers dis­cov­ered. When obese men di­eted for 16 weeks, some took two-week “breaks” dur­ing which they ate the amount needed to main­tain their weight, or 33% more kilo­joules than in their “diet” weeks. Those guys ended up, on av­er­age, 8kg lighter six months af­ter the ex­per­i­ment ended than the ones who di­eted straight through. Break­ing up that caloric re­stric­tion may thwart adap­tive ther­mo­ge­n­e­sis, a slow­down of your me­tab­o­lism that can make it harder to keep los­ing weight.

What’s prob­a­bly the best fuel-up af­ter an ear­ly­morn­ing work­out? A. Pro­tein shake B. Egg-white omelette C. Scram­bled whole eggs

C. For­get the shake and reach for some real food in­stead. When a small group of men in an In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Obe­sity study ate three whole eggs to­tal­ing 18 grams of pro­tein af­ter a leg work­out, they showed sig­nif­i­cantly greater lev­els of “my­ofib­ril­lar pro­tein syn­thetic re­sponse” – that's mus­cle-pro­tein re­pair and re­mod­elling – than those who ate the same amount of pro­tein from egg whites. Credit some­thing called food syn­ergy, or how nu­tri­ents work to­gether. The com­bi­na­tion of fats, vi­ta­mins, and min­er­als in the yolks may be work­ing to­gether for a greater mus­cle re­sponse, the re­searchers say. C. Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Pre­ven­tive Medicine, 45% of men aged 20 to 39 have a BMI of 30 or above (that's obese) or hit that mark at some time – and the num­ber grows as guys get older. For ev­ery decade spent obese, a man's odds of el­e­vated lev­els of high-sen­si­tiv­ity car­diac tro­ponin T – a marker of heart dam­age – in­crease by 26%, ac­cord­ing to a study in Clin­i­cal Chem­istry.

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