At last science has proven the saying “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” The effects of overeating for even a short amount of time might just be long-term according to new Swedish research appearing in Nutrition & Metabolism. Overeating in the first place is the big no-no according to the experts. Preventing weight gain is the way to go.
The work involved tracking 18 subjects (12 men, 6 women) of an average age of 26 years old, who increased their energy intake by almost 70% (almost 5,750 calories/day) and capped their daily activity at no more than 5,000 steps (2.5 miles) a day for a total of four weeks. This amount of activity was considered on the threshold of a sedentary lifestyle, physically active was defined as 10,000 steps or more.
Before the study the participant’s daily intake was about 2,270 calories. The diet the subjects ate during the study was very unhealthy – fast foods like hamburgers, pizza and French fries.
Researcher Asa Emersson, a Ph.D. student out of Linkoping University in Sweden looked at weight, body mass index and other data at the start of the work, after the four week eating section, then again at six and 12 months later and at the two and half year point. He compared the unhealthy eaters with a control group of 18 subjects, average age 25, who didn’t do anything different in terms of eating and physical activity.
As you might expect, the feasting subjects gained about 14 pounds, while the weight of the control group stayed the same. Not surprisingly, their fat mass was found to have gone up from 20 to nearly 24% of total body weight after the month long alteration.
At six months, the feasting subjects had lost about half the weight gain, but still had higher body weight than they did at the start of the study. Only five participants had gotten back to the weight they were at the start of the study.
At the one-year mark, the overall weight of the feasting group was still noticeably higher.
At 2.5 years, the weight of the controls was the same, but the feasting subjects continued to have a rise, and had also upped their average weight from 149 pounds at the study start to 160 pounds. Fat mass also went up.
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Warning: Nasty Long Term Effects From Short Term Overeating… Continued…
The change in fat mass was larger than anyone expected.
The findings add to what experts have been saying for years. Moderation and physical activity to achieve a healthy body weight are the key. Sure overindulgence is hard to avoid… especially over the holidays… but it’s important not to turn that one event into an everyday thing. If you do, you might just change the composition of your body and start yourself on the path to higher body fat levels.
Another key finding is that the effects of overeating seem to affect some more than others according to Joan Salge Blake, RD, a professor of nutrition at Boston University. Some of the subjects just could not get back to their normal weight, even though they went back to their regular diet. Experts agree that more research is needed.