Weight Training Helps Keep Belly Fat Away

Rania Mekary, MS, Ph.D. Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Department Boston, Ma 02115MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rania Mekary, MS, Ph.D.

Harvard School of Public Health
Nutrition Department
Boston, Ma 02115


Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Mekar: Findings on weight training and waist circumference (WC) change have been controversial.  Moreover, a lot of people focus on aerobic and only aerobic workout… They are not to be blamed because aerobic workout (e.g. jogging) relies mostly on fat as a source of energy while anaerobic workout (e.g. resistance) relies mostly on carbohydrates. Our study, however, showed that resistance training over the long-term was the most inversely associated with waistline change (aka abdominal fat), even more than aerobic exercise. We also justified physiologically why it is the case… It has to do with the greater Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) as compared with aerobic training and also to the muscle adaptation and its increase in mitochondria which leads to more lipid oxidation upon engaging in anaerobic workout over the long-term.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Mekar: Clinicians: Remember to prescribe not only exercise to your patients, especially older patients, but also emphasize the importance of resistance training.

Patients: To get the most favorable body composition changes over the long-term and to control and maintain a healthy waistline, incorporate weight training into your aerobic routine.  If you are short on time, 20 min/day of weight training would do the trick.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Mekar:-Further epidemiological studies are needed among women, older men, and other ethnic groups.  to compare the frequency and volume of weight training on waist circumference change.

Future intervention studies are needed to compare the frequency and volume of weight training effects on waist circumference change.


Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long-term waist circumference change in men

Mekary RA1, Grøntved A, Despres J, De Moura LP, Asgarzadeh M, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Giovannucci E, Hu FB.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Dec 19. doi: 10.1002/oby.20949. [Epub ahead of print]

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