Tell me about exercise and its effect on your weight regulation. Are there benefits of exercise over diet?
When you are exercising, you use up more energy than when you are resting.
During a fast walk, for example, you use four times as much energy/minute
as you do when resting. If you take an hour's fast walk each day, you will
use 260 kcal more than without any exercise, or 17 % more kcal than
without any exercise.
Experiments with rats show that the rats who exercise at least an hour
every day, have less risk of becoming overweight. However, it does not
seem as the calories used during the exercise were most important.
Instead, the natural mechanisms for regulating food and nutritional need
works better with moderately and regularly exercising. The rats needed
one hour of exercise per day, in order to make the normal weight control
mechanisms of their body work.
Exercise also stimulates the production of beta-endorphins in the body.
Beta-endorphins are substances produced by the body, which have similar
effect as morphine. Because of this, exercise can reduce the need for
alcohol, narcotics and overeating, since also these abuses stimulate the
same pleasure centers as morphine and beta-endorphins.
Moderate exercising will also reduce the risk for a number of other
What about very much and extensive exercise? This is
controversial. Some experts see extensive exercise as an abuse
similar to substance abuse, since also when you exercise, you
stimulate the production of beta-endorphins. However, experts do
not agree on how much exercise is healthy, and where the limit is
in terms of an unhealthy dependence on exercise.
Our recommendation to people with eating disorders is to exercise at least
30-60 minutes a day by walking, cycling, swimming, physical training,
etc., in order to get the normal weight control to work better.