In this course the discussion centred on why it is particularly important to use physical activity in combination with dieting as a means of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, since activity ensures that fat loss is achieved without the loss of lean tissue. You learned the following:
- Physical activity should be included in weight loss programmes as it minimises losses of lean body mass (muscle, etc.).
- Physical activity leads to a decrease in blood levels of triglycerides and LDL and an increase in HDL.
- It is important to maintain hydration levels during exercise.
- Maintenance of physical activity is a good predictor of long-term weight loss.
- An energy deficit of 500 to 1000 kilocalories per day is recommended for weight loss, with a reduction in fat intake to less than 30 per cent of total calories.
- A drastic reduction in calorie intake, as sometimes occurs in athletes ‘making weight’ or in the female triad syndrome (featuring disordered eating, amenorrhoea and osteoporosis), leads to long-term adverse health consequences.