The results of a large, annual weight loss published today in New England Journal of Medicine revealed some eye-catching news for overweight people struggling to not only lose weight but also keep it away. After all, as any weight loss expert can tell you, the only thing that might be more difficult than losing weight is actually keeping it away – and avoiding the dreaded rebound weight gain. According to the researchers, the combination of moderate to vigorous exercise along with taking a weight loss medication was a success in helping people lose 20 pounds or more and keep it off for an entire year. Read on for more, and if you are looking for a great new workout, look here for 3 workout programs that have been shown to change your body shape.
The study tested the weight-loss drug Saxenda (liraglutide), a prescription drug for obesity that is FDA-approved in the United States. The researchers, who oversaw the clinical head-to-head trial, recruited obese adults and put them all through an 8-week low-calorie diet. Thereafter, the study participants were randomly assigned to four groups.
Those in the first group were put on a “moderate to vigorous training program with intensity” while taking placebo. Group two took liraglutide (3 mg per day) and did not exercise. Group three exercised and took liraglutide, while group four took placebo and did not exercise. By “exercise” here is what the researchers mean: “The average weekly duration of the workout was 118 minutes with an intensity of 78% of the maximum heart rate in the training group and 111 minutes with an intensity of 79% of the maximum heart rate in the combination group, “Healio observed.
The program then continued for an entire year.
By the end of a year, all those people who exercised lost more weight than those in the placebo group. However, study participants who combined exercise with liraglutide enjoyed the greatest weight loss of all. On average, participants who did both lost 12 pounds more than people who exercised alone. They also lost more weight than those who just took the drug.
“It is good news for public health that a significant weight loss can be maintained with exercise for about 115 minutes a week, which is mainly performed with high intensity, such as cycling,” Signe S. Torekov, PhD, Professor in the Department of Biomedical Medicine sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Healio explained. “By combining exercise with obesity medication, the effect is twice as good as each of the individual treatments.”
Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prescription weight loss drug designed for overweight people with a BMI of 30 or over that was approved by the FDA for use in the United States in late 2014. It is an injectable drug – delivered through a pen. In 2017, researchers found that it was also effective in strengthening heart health.
It works by reducing your body’s leptin resistance and making you feel full. When you go on a diet, your hunger hormone leptin moves to increase your appetite and slow down your metabolism. The hormone that triggers this process is leptin, and the more you try on a diet, the more your leptin sharpens until you eventually develop a leptin resistance. Liraglutide works, the researchers say, by reducing leptin resistance and letting your weight loss happen.
It is worth noting that it is quite expensive and can cost up to $ 40 / day.
Now, if you want to lose 5 pounds before the summer, this study does not apply to you. But it’s a big breakthrough for overweight people who are susceptible to diabetes and other health conditions and who are really struggling to keep the weight off in the long run.
Even if you do not take the drug, the study shows that overweight people can lose and maintain their weight by exercising alone.
“Our experiment showed that 1 year of mostly intense intensity training, performed approximately 2.4 times a week, as a maintenance strategy for weight loss was possible in obese people with a very low initial level of fitness,” the researchers conclude. “The conclusion that the 1-year courses in terms of body weight, waist-to-hip ratio and adhesion were stable in the training groups – where participants had a loss of fat mass and increase in lean mass along with improved emotional well – support also the feasibility. “And for more weight loss advice, check out these secret workout tricks to keep your weight down for good.