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BLOG FITNESS, NUTRITION, FOOD, CADIO, STRENGTH

October 29, 2012
The Effects of Diet, Cardio and Strength Training on Your Metabolism

Weight management is a pretty simple formula, "calories in versus calories out."  If you expend more calories through exercise and decrease your food intake to create a deficit, you'll most likely see a decrease in weight loss.  However, you must not neglect your resting metabolic rate as well.  Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the rate you burn calories while at rest.  This comprises 60% of your 24-hour  total daily energy expenditure. 30% of your daily expenditure is accounted for by physical activity and about 10% is responsible for food metabolism.


So can your RMR change with diet and exercise?  Yes, in fact.  According to research, RMR increases and decreases in response to diet, cardio and strength training.  Let's take a look at these three aspects.


RMR in response to Diet only

Your RMR can be suppressed by up to 20% by energy restriction.  For example, an individual with an RMR of 1,500 calories per day may have a decrease of 300 calories per day if they are just following a diet-only plan.  If you're just decreasing your calorie consumption and not complimenting it with exercise, individuals tend to lose a considerable amount of lean muscle tissue.  Exercise consisting of cardio and strength training helps to protect your RMR from such a drop and is key for long-term  muscle preservation.

RMR response with Aerobic Exercise
Cardio done consistently for over a year and half can increase your RMR.  In a study done in London, adult male and female subjects were instructed to do 3-5 days per week of cardio for 30-45 minutes at a moderate intensity.  Their results showed an increase in RMR for both male and female individuals.  After 16 months, females saw an average of 129 calories per day increase while the male subjects experienced an average increase of 174 calories per day.


RMR response with Strength Training

Just like consistent cardiovascular exercise, strength training can also help to increase your RMR.  In a 6-month study, both adult males and females saw an increase in their RMR of at least 100 calories per day.  In order to reach those results, all individuals followed a full-body strength training program 3 times per week completing 10-15 reps per set. 


So what did we learn from all of this?  Well, for starters, meal tracking or watching what you eat will not be the solution to it all.  In order to reach your goals and maintain it beyond, we need to consistently focus on all three facets: diet, aerobic exercise, and resistance training.  It will help you to keep that weight off for many years to come and increase your daily caloric burn. 

Written by DR. MARK DEDOMENICO

 
 

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