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Consumers struggling with poor fitness could have difficulties with weight loss programs

Study findings highlight the importance of physical activity

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Photo (c) Rostislav_Sedlacek - Getty Images
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult for consumers to find the motivation to keep up with their usual exercise routines. However, experts have recently emphasized the importance of both kids and adults staying active during this extended time at home. 

Now, researchers from the Endocrine Society have found that consumers who fall off the wagon with their fitness routines could have difficulties picking up a weight loss regimen in the future. 

“This research could help us improve the design of our weight loss programs and suggests that adults with very poor fitness may benefit from additional exercise support during a weight loss program to achieve higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and improve long-term weight loss,” said researcher Dr. Adnin Zaman. 

Getting optimal results

To understand how fitness affected results from weight loss programs, the researchers had 60 participants complete an 18-month exercise and diet-based plan intended for weight loss. The researchers tracked the participants’ health status at the start of the study, and then again as the study progressed. 

When the study began, one-third of the participants were determined to have “very poor fitness,” while the remaining two-thirds were considered to have either poor or better fitness. 

The researchers learned that those who fell under the “very poor fitness” category didn’t lose as much weight by the end of the study as those with poor or better fitness; weight loss was twice as high for those in better fitness. Body mass index (BMI) was also worse for those with poorer fitness levels. 

As the study went on, the researchers had the participants increase the intensity of the workouts, but the outcomes differed for the two groups. Those with better fitness levels at the start of the study could complete the more rigorous workouts for longer periods of time than those with poorer fitness levels. 

Preparing for weight loss

The researchers think these findings can be helpful for those having a hard time keeping the weight off, as earlier interventions could be needed before diving headfirst into a weight loss program. 

“Further studies are needed to evaluate whether providing additional exercise support or focusing specifically on improving fitness in adults with low levels of fitness would approve weight loss,” said Dr. Zaman. 

The study results also show that not all weight loss programs are designed for all individuals. If you’re interested in seeing which program might be right for you, visit ConsumerAffairs’ guide here

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