Researchers found that any physical activity effectively barred people from reacquiring belly fat after weight loss, suggesting that training is especially crucial when weight maintenance. As little as 80 minutes/week aerobic or resistance exercise had moderate positive impacts on restricting weight regain following a diet-induced weight loss. More importantly, both aerobic and resistance training prevented the reacquire of possibly unhealthy belly fat.
Study Name:Exercise training prevents regain of visceral fat for 1-year following weight loss
The purpose of this study was to determine what effect aerobic and resistance exercise training has on gain of visceral fat during the year following weight loss. After being randomly assigned to aerobic training, resistance training, or no exercise training, 45 European-American and 52 African-American women lost 12.3±2.5 kg on a 800 kcal/day diet. Computed tomography was used to measure abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue while total fat and regional fat (leg, arm, and trunk) were measured by Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry after weight loss and one year following the weight loss. Since not all the subjects adhered to the 2 time/week 40 minutes/day exercise training during the one year follow-up, subjects were divided into five groups for analysis; aerobic adherers, aerobic non-adherers, resistance adherers, resistance non-adherers and no exercise. No significant differences were observed between the aerobic training and resistance training adherers for any variable. However, the aerobic (3.1 kg) and resistance (3.9 kg) exercise adherers gained less weight than any of the other 3 groups (all more than 6.2 kg). In addition, the two exercise adherence groups did not significantly increase visceral fat (< 0.8%) as compared with the 38% increase for the two non-adhering exercise groups and the 25% for the non-exercise group. In conclusion, as little as 80 minutes/week aerobic or resistance training had modest positive effects on preventing weight regain following a diet induced weight loss. More importantly, both aerobic and resistance training prevented regain of potentially harmful visceral fat.