Research Roundup #10: This Week’s Fasting News from Around the Web
THE LATEST NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES ON THE FASTING LIFESTYLE
Welcome to the Fast Insider News Roundup
Every week, we’re bringing you a round-up of the latest fasting, health, and wellness news to hit the wire. There are many ways that fasting converges with lifestyle to improve change day to day life as we know it. This week, we look at how much exercise is effective for weight loss, how to move more and stress less in the holiday weeks ahead, and how you can train your brain to be more resilient during times of stress.
Three Ways to Build Movement and Stress Relief Into The Holiday Season
For many of us, the demands of the holiday season have pushed our schedules well into the evening hours. It’s easy to put working out and stress reduction at the bottom of the list.
But certified strength and conditioning expert Dana Santas has some advice for how to squeeze more of this important self-care into each day. Here are some suggestions for avoiding scheduling overload while still taking care of your health.
Use habit stacking to get movement into your day.
Think of the things you do mindlessly every day and tack on a tiny bit of activity before, during, or immediately after, such as a round of squats while brushing your teeth, ten pushups before a shower, a 30-second wall-sit while checking email, or 30 jumping jacks or 20 alternating lunges before morning coffee.
Squeeze in a four-minute high-intensity workout.
If you’re up to it, schedule a 4-minute Tabata workout, which burns significantly more calories in a shorter amount of time. Try full-body exercises such as mountain climbers or jumping jacks for eight rounds, with 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest each round.
Make time to recover.
Get the sleep you need, and if you didn’t, schedule a 15-20-minute nap during the day. Either way, take a few minutes each day to unplug from your phone and laptop. You could try meditation or a breathing practice, or just sit with your back on the floor, bottom touching the wall, and legs up the wall to stretch and relieve stress.
To Lose Weight With Exercise Shoot for Five Hours a Week
When the holiday’s over, if you know that you are more successful sticking to a fitness program than a specific diet plan, the good news is that exercise alone appears to work for weight loss – just be prepared to train a lot.
New research involving overweight men and women found that exercising for 300 minutes each week helped participants lose weight, in part by remodeling appetite hormones.
Weight loss, it seems, is not just a matter of creating a calorie deficit. Our bodies are primed to hold onto fat stores, and often compensate for the fat-burning effects of movement by creating a bigger appetite, causing us to consume more calories.
One researcher from the University of Kentucky began to wonder if there was a ceiling to this caloric compensation, where people would bust through the effect and lose weight. An early study suggested an addition of 1,000 calories of compensatory eating each week from physical activity.
New research asked two groups of sedentary and overweight people to perform exercise – one group two days a week for 90 minutes each time until they burned 750 calories for a total of 1,500 calories each week. Another group worked out six days a week for 40 to 60 minutes until they burned 500 calories each time for a total of 3,000 calories. Unsurprisingly, the latter group was the only one to shed much weight over the 12 weeks, dropping about four pounds of body fat.
But there was another key difference between the two groups as well. The 3,000 calories group showed changes in their bodies’ levels of leptin, an appetite hormone that can reduce appetite. There were no comparable hormonal changes in the men and women working out less.
A science-backed way to cultivate well-being
A growing mental health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic has many communities looking for tools to support mental health.
Psychology researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a new framework to broaden the approach around mental health from just treating mental illness to cultivating resilience that can better see people through challenging times.
They describe it as the “how of well-being”, and it focuses on four pillars that have been shown in their lab to improve with training. These include:
- Awareness or attentiveness to one’s environment and internal cues such as body sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
- Connection, or appreciation, kindness, and compassion.
- Insight, or fostering curiosity and self-knowledge.
- Purpose, and understanding your values and motivations.
These qualities of a healthy mind are not fixed but trainable, researchers said and can have a great impact on physical and mental health. The team hopes to make the science behind this framework accessible so it can be incorporated into therapy, meditation programs, and other mental health treatments soon.
Fasting.com is committed to investigating and reporting on the many ways fasting, health, nutrition, and wellness can help all of us rise to meet the challenges we face in life and, in doing so, liberates us to live our lives, longer and better. Together, especially when we are healthy and happy, we can address the world’s greatest problems.
Check-in weekly for our research round-up and look forward to even more in-depth fasting science coverage, analysis, and takeaways in the near future.
P.S. We would love to hear your feedback on any of the ideas above as well as any stories you would like to read in the future. Send us a note anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org