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Biggest Losers Lose Their Medications

Posted Jun 04 2012 3:00am
While only 17 men & 18 women average 40yo completed 24 weeks of training, their fasting glucose dropped from 91.1mg/dL down to 75.1mg/dL, their fasting insulin dropped from 14.1uIU/mL down to 5.5uIU/mL, and their HgbA1c dropped by 0.53% in 6 months.  More impressively, their mean blood pressure dropped from 138/90mm Hg down to 123/76mm Hg within the first 5 weeks by which time all were off their diabetes & blood pressure medications.  And average percentage body fat dropped from 48% down to 30% which is more than can be expected from gastric bypass surgery!

So what's necessary for these near miraculous achievements?  Prior to entering the show, the participants watched 5-6 hours of TV daily although, to their credit, they also exercised approximately 120 minutes each week, close to standard recommendations.  During the show, their TV & computer time dropped down to just 1-2 hours/day (that excludes me!) while they engaged in 4 hours of exercise daily: 1 hour of intense aerobics, 2 hours of moderate aerobics, and 1 hour of intense resistance training .  In other words, exercise became their part-time job!  And while doing so, they consumed at least 70% of their estimated resting daily energy expenditure.

Newsweek recently published an article suggesting that obesity isn't as simple as calories in vs calories out .  Apparently, exercise isn't as important as eating the appropriate foods while avoiding high fructose corn syrup.  While I agree that refined sugars and high glycemic foods should best be left off the grocery list, I can't help but believe that exercise is still a necessary component of a healthy weight loss program.  Now, if we could only set our priorities to make the time & effort these Biggest Loser participants did.
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