Physioworks Health Group: Fitness v Fatness



The Physioworks Health Group Exercise Physiology team are often asked:  What is more important – Fitness v’s Fatness?

KEY STATISTIC:  Being inactive has shown to be responsible for two time (2x) more deaths in Europe than being overweight ( i.e fitness/activity is more important than worrying about being ‘overweight’).

As Exercise Physiologist’s dealing with chronic disease populations we regularly see clients that no matter how compliant they are with their exercise and nutrition they just can’t lose weight (70% of weight loss generally comes from dietary changes and 30% comes from exercise).

Research has suggested some potential reasons for this include:

  • Resting Metabolic Rate:

This is the energy required for us to live at rest.  Increased muscle mass requires more energy at rest just to survive comparatively to fat tissue.  Therefore if we can increase our resistance training, which will in turn increase our muscle mass, we can increase resting metabolic rate & influence weight loss.

  • Behavioural Responses to Exercise and Type of Exercise:

Interestingly it has been shown that after moderate intensity exercise people tend to eat more post exercise then what they would if they had just completed a high intensity exercise session (work rate > or equal to 80%).

So our approach, if we do have clients who show no changes in weight, is to add in a managed, high intensity exercise program to assist with weight loss.

So in summary what is more important – Fitness v’s Fatness?

‘Fitness’ is the most important factor over ‘Fatness’ for metabolic health.  So essentially you are better off being fit & fat compared to being skinny & unfit!

Contact the Physioworks Health Group Exercise Physiology team for discussion and assistance on your metabolic health requirements.

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