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A Single Bout of Exercise Can Help Increase Fat-Burning Rate

Posted Sep 30 2008 12:06am
A new fascinating study presented at the American Physiological Society meeting shows that a single bout of exercise can reduce fat by-products inside the muscle, thus affecting insulin sensitivity.

Readers of this newsletter know about insulin resistance- that metabolic state in which the cells become less able to "listen" to insulin. When this happens, blood sugar stays high and the combined effect of high blood sugar and high insulin leads to enormous health problems including metabolic syndrome (a huge risk factor for heart disease), type ll diabetes and obesity. ( A high number of overweight people are in fact insulin resistant). You don't want insulin resistance- you want insulin sensitivity.

In this study, researchers took obese women and put them on three separate two day trials. In the first trial they consumed a "weight-maintaining" diet (this was the control arm of the study). In the second, they overate by a set amount, consuming 700 calories above their "normal" weight maintaining diet. And in the third condition, they also consumed that excess 700 calories, but they exercised to the point where they expended the 700 excess calories.

The researchers found that overeating suppressed fat burning (technically called fatty acid oxidation), while exercise increased it. Even that single workout helped the subjects become less insulin resistant. According to Andrea Cornford, a member of the research team, "Exercise decreases everyone's insulin resistance and therefore reduces the chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes. This study shows that even a single bout of exercise helps obese individuals increase their body's fat-burning rate and improve their metabolic health".
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