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Cardio vs. Weight Training, Fat Loss Supplements, and More
With New Year’s Day past, and dreaded New Year’s resolutions haunting some of us, I hope you consider following through with some of your goals pertaining to your health.  If you’re like most people, you’ll vow to eat better, exercise more, drink less and lose those last 10 (or 20, or 30) stubborn pounds that you’ve accumulated over the years.  Especially with the motivation of the holidays being behind you, and no more temptations of holiday cookies, eggnog, and leftover turkey sandwiches smothered in mashed potatoes and gravy.

So, then, what should be your approach? Go crazy with the cardio OR go heavy on the weights? Or a little of both? It seems like there’s always a new study out, or new research pointing to one or the other. Researchers of a very recent study, however, feel they have finally pinned down the right answer. And that answer is… CARDIO.

The study, conducted by researchers at Duke University, set out to measure the changes in weight and fat loss by looking at aerobic exercise, resistance/weight training, and the combination of the two. And they went BIG, too. The study is, in fact, the largest of its kind, looking at 234 overweight and obese adults.

Baby Boomer Women Working Out

The Skinny on the Study
It’s true; resistance training does offer benefits for weight loss and fat reduction – mostly in the fact that by building lean muscle mass, you can help raise your resting metabolic rate. It’s also been shown to have other health benefits, such as improving glucose control. But these researchers proposed that the data on the effects of resistance training on fat mass are inconclusive. And while aerobic exercise, such as running, walking and swimming, is also effective in reducing weight, it’s never really been determined which is better between the two.

But with their research, it was discovered that aerobic exercise was the clear winner. In fact, the resistance training group actually gained weight due to an increase in lean muscle mass. Cris A. Slentz, PhD, a Duke exercise physiologist and study co-author had this to say about the results: “Balancing time commitments against health benefits, our study suggests that aerobic exercise is the best option for reducing fat mass and body mass. It’s not that resistance training isn’t good for you; it’s just not very good at burning fat.”

The scientists did point out, however, that this study should not be taken as an “exercise recommendation” across the board for people of all ages. Whereas younger people looking to lose weight may benefit more from the aerobic training, older adults who may be experiencing muscle atrophy may benefit more from resistance training.

What about Supplements?
So… you know that you have to do the work by exercising; that there is not magic pill that can melt those pounds away. But are there certain supplements that might help at least a little in your weight loss efforts?

Some options that have been getting a bit of buzz lately – even on the Dr. Oz show – are raspberry ketones and the green coffee bean.

With raspberry ketone extract, the ketone compound helps stimulate a protein in the body called adiponectin. This protein is found in your fatty tissue and improves your body’s ability to metabolize fat.  And the green coffee bean, apparently, slows absorption of fat from food intake and also activates metabolism of extra fat. The expert on one particular Dr. Oz show said to make sure to get a green coffee bean with 45% chlorogenic acid, however, otherwise you won’t see the benefits.

But the question remains… do they really work?  I took a green coffee bean supplement for a couple weeks, and all it did was to make me feel jittery – no weight loss.  However, it was just a cheap brand off the Target shelf, so it may not have had the concentration that is optimal. But I don’t think that should stop YOU from trying it!  I mean… if it’s good enough for Dr. Oz, then who knows? Just make sure you speak with your healthcare provider before entering anything new into your regimen.

And keep checking back to the blog, as we’ll have more information on these and other weight loss supplements in weeks to come.

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