Counter the Effects of Overeating with Exercise

We’ve all been there before: you finish eating a delicious home-cooked dinner, only to realize that you are craving more. So, what do you do? You go back for a seconds, or possibly even thirds. Overeating such as this can take a toll on your health, contributing to weight gain while slowing your fitness goals in the process. There’s good news, though: exercise may counter the otherwise negative effects of overeating.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found that exercising negates all of the harmful effects of overeating. And with the holidays fast approaching, this is something from which we could all benefit.

For the study, researchers asked adult participants to do one of two things: either continue their normal exercise routine (150 minutes, 6 days a week), or do no exercise at all. Both groups of participants were also asked to consume roughly 30% more calories than their normal diet.

What did researchers find? They found that participants who overate but didn’t exercise gained fat and developed more risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. However, participants who continued to exercise experienced positive changes in their fat tissue, protecting their heart from inflammation and fat metabolism. Scientific jargon aside, researchers found that exercise is an effective way to counter the otherwise harmful effects of overeating.

Of course, staying active during the holidays is easier said than done. For many people, the holidays are a time for resting and relaxing, in which case you probably won’t be exercising much. Thankfully, this time of year doesn’t have to slow down your exercise habits.

If you want to stay active throughout the holidays, and counter the effects of overeating, you should make it a point to exercise every day. Granted, you shouldn’t strength train every day. Rather, alternate your cardio and strength training. If you strength train on Monday, do cardio on Tuesday before going back to strength training again on Wednesday; rinse and repeat this cycle. And if you need a little motivation, ask a friend or family member to tag alone.

Overeating can take a toll on your health, adding inches to your waistline and even prompting more risk factors of heart disease. If you exercise, though, you can enjoy an occasional second plate without fear of it harming your health.

To recap, you can counter the harmful effects of overeating by exercising. Researchers found that people who overate and exercised for 6 days per week, 150 minutes per day, had improved health than their counterparts who did not exercise.

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