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Heavy weights for heavyweights?

Obesity is a global health problem that comes with serious consequences to our health and high expenses for our health care system. Malnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle are considered to be among the main causes of obesity for all age groups. Although changing our lifestyle is known to be an effective and cost-efficient way to prevent and treat this condition, many people struggle regularly to change their diets and stay on track with exercising. When you are overweight, your weight can be a limiting factor, as physical activities become increasingly difficult with higher risks of injury - contributing to a loss in motivation.

In a recent study published by the University of Maastricht, researchers investigated the interdependency between weight training and obesity. The basis of their hypothesis was that obese people not only have more fatty tissue, but also more muscles. Although the relative body composition happens to change in favor of adipose tissue when overweight, the absolute muscle mass also grows with increasing body weight. Therefore, the researchers postulated that overweight people achieve better results in strength exercises compared to those of normal weight.

The study was able to confirm all of the researchers’ hypotheses and prove the correlation between weight, absolute muscle mass, strength and motivation. Heavier people are therefore better equipped to perform strength exercises than those of normal weight. They also showed a higher motivation and preference for this type of sport than for example cardio training.

Despite the small experimental group and some limitations, the study provides valuable insights for the treatment of obesity. Weight training can be a useful intervention for short- and medium-term weight control. Still, exercise and sports are just one type of measure for permanent weight control. It is equally important to change our diet if we wish to be successful. The greatest threat to an already achieved weight loss is returning to old behavior. Therefore we need to keep our motivation going for as long as possible until our new behaviors turn into a fixed habit.

The seca mBCA is a proven diagnostic tool for weight reduction. Using the bioimpedance analysis, the device can determine the body composition quickly and non-invasively. When it comes to measuring the individual body compartments it is on par with the respective gold standard. Regular checks can accurately measure new physical changes, even if they are not yet visible. Accordingly, the measurement data can help optimize our diet and as well as our training plan. Detectable changes in the distribution of adipose tissue and muscle mass can also encourage us in times of (seemingly) stagnant weight. Overall, it is necessary to treat excessive weight at different levels. The more extensive the change in lifestyle, the more permanent our weight loss will be and the more we will benefit from it in the long term.