Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fitness Me In Workout Series #24 - Make Sure That Lost Weight Remains Lost!

Study proves exercise helps us avoid weight regain after dieting

OK Ladies, we’ve heard this a million times: Dieting alone does not work to keep the weight off.
Now, yet another study proves that exercise is a key component in preventing weight regain.
This study also challenges the conventional wisdom that the number of fat cells is set and cannot be altered by dietary or lifestyle changes, finding that exercise prevents the increase in the number of fat cells that occurs during weight regain.
The University of Colorado Denver study was done with obesity-prone rats.
The National Weight Control Registry has found that people who successfully keep weight off share a number of common characteristics, including a program of regular exercise. The study aimed to figure out why exercise is important.
The study had rats eat a high fat food plan, followed by a diet. Partway through the diet, half of the rats remained sedentary and the other half became exercisers. In the final “relapse phase” of the study, the rats stopped dieting and ate as much low-fat food as they wanted. The rats in the exercise group continued to exercise.
Compared to the sedentary rats, the exercisers:
• regained less weight during the relapse period
• developed a lower ‘defended’ body weight
• burned more fat early in the day, and more carbohydrates later in the day
• accumulated fewer fat cells and less abdominal fat during relapse
• reduced the drive to overeat
• enhanced the ability to balance energy intake with energy expended
One of the most interesting findings is that exercise prevents an increase in the number of fat cells.
That could explain the phenomenon of additional weight regain in yo-yo dieters. In the sedentary rats, a population of very small, presumably new, fat cells appears early in the relapse process. Small, new fat cells would not only accelerate the process of regain, but also increase fat storage capacity in the abdomen. It also explains why sedentary rats overshoot their previous weight when they relapse.
It will be interesting to see what the research team comes up with as it continues its work. Conventional wisdom holds that the number of fat cells is determined by genetics, rather than being regulated by diet or lifestyle. The team plans do further research to demonstrate that exercise does, indeed, prevent formation of new fat cells early in relapse rather than simply altering the size of pre-existing fat cells.
To see the full study, go to

Cardio Cooking

Hopefully the above study will inspire you to fit in some fitness. Sometimes I like to fine tune my body as I cook up a good fryer chicken.
Here’s a yummy and healthy recipe from Daphne Miller, M.D., author of healthy diet book “The Jungle Effect.”

Chicken Avgolemono with Grilled Peppers

1 chicken
¼ c chickpea, barley or whole-wheat flour
1 t each salt and pepper
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow or red onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic
1 T tomato paste
2 lemons
1 c dry white wine
4 grilled bell peppers
2 T finely chopped fennel leaves or ½ t fennel seeds
1 egg
*The author calls for free range meats and eggs

1. Turn on your tunes and dance as you cut up the onion. Then rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Toss it with flour, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
2. In a shallow Dutch oven or large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken on sides (about 5 minutes per side), remove, set aside. As you do this repeat the following circuit as many times as you can:
20 calf raises, then 20 side leg raises, then 20 rear leg raises
3. Go back to dancing as you add the onion to the pan and cook until translucent.
4. Do mini squats as you add the garlic, tomato paste and juice from one of the lemons.
5. Dance again as you add the chicken back in and coat it with the onion mixture, then add the wine.
7. Add the peppers and the fennel leaves, cover and simmer at very low heat for 30 minutes. Do a set of 10 lunges on each leg after this step. Take a break or continue to dance as you prepare side dishes for your meal.
8. Add the peppers and the fennel leaves, cover again and simmer another 20-25 minutes.
9. In a bowl whisk the egg. Continue whisking while you pour in the remaining lemon juice and a cup full of the broth from the cooked chicken. Then pour the mixture into the chicken opt and gently stir it in. Repeat the circuit of 20 calf raises, then 20 side leg raises, then 20 rear leg raises.
10. Turn off the heat and let the dish sit covered on the stove for 5-10 minutes so the sauce can thicken. Do a final dance as you set the table and prepare to enjoy!

Shape-Up Shopping (Grocery Day)

Here’s one you can do at home as you are unloading after you’ve nabbed lots of groceries. After each exercise, jog or walk quickly back to the car unless otherwise noted.
1. Grab two light bags. Do knee ups as you bring them from car to kitchen.
2. Take 2 cans out of your bags. Do bicep curls with them on the way to the pantry.
3. Get another bag. Skip as you bring it in. Do lunges on the way out.
4. On your next trip, hop or jump all the way in.
5. Now get your milk or bag of pet food or laundry soap. Take 3 steps, do a squat or half squat, then take 3 more steps. Repeat all the way in.
6. Get another bag. Skip as you bring it in. Do lunges on the way out.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 as desired.

Cleaning Day

I don’t know about you, but I have to clean my sons’ bathroom at least once a day. I decided to make it into a mini workout instead of something I dread. Here’s what I did last time.
1. Remember the Karate Kid? Wax on/wax off as you clean the mirror. If you don’t know what that means, rub large circles in each direction with each hand on the mirror to clean it.
2. As you clean the sink and counter, squat as far as you can and hold the position until you are done. If you need to move over, come up, step to the side, and squat again.
3. Hold your tummy in as you clean the toilet.
4. Do a crazy dance as you mop.
5. As you clean the shower or bath, get your whole body into the scrubbing power – and make sure to switch arms while cleaning.

Play Day

If you’re like me, you’ve got left over party supplies from those birthdays. Here’s a game you can play with your kids with the leftover balloons. Blow up 10 balloons. Each of you take 5 balloons and to carry them to the opposite side of the room. See who is fastest!
You can make all sorts of birthday party games into workouts. My kids love this – they feel like we’re having a mini celebration – and I do too because we all get our heart rates up and burn fat!
There’s even a party games Web site at It has plenty of active activities for the family to enjoy.

Groggy Day
Here’s a YouTube video for a short yoga session that can be done in the morning or evening with Laurie Searle – a mom who understands the challenges of busy moms who are trying to work in a workout:

Legal junk/Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice or care of medical professionals. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, or exercise program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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