If you’re exercising to lose weight, less is more. That’s the gist of research in the American Journal of Physiology. In a study, a group of overweight people were given the choice of exercising either 30 or 60 minutes a day. The catch? Those who chose less exercise had to do a slightly more intense workout, three days a week.
So, what happened? After three months, the people who exercised an hour a day lost an average of 6 lbs. But get this: Those who exercised only 30 minutes lost an average of 8 lbs. Or, to put that another way: Those who exercised half as long lost 33% MORE weight!
How is that possible? Researchers say one reason is that the people who exercised longer tended to eat more following their workout. That suggests long workouts leave us so drained, that we can’t wait to refuel with a big meal, and that offsets any extra calories we may have burned.
Also, researchers say short bursts of intense exercise tend to leave us with the desire to be more active after our workout. So, for example: Instead of kicking back on the couch, we’re more likely to go for a walk, or clean up around the house. And it should go without saying: The more active we are, the more calories we burn all day long.
Bottom line? This is the latest study to prove that the intensity of your workout is more important than how long you exercise, because shorter bursts of “concentrated exercise” do lead to more weight loss over time.