Perhaps your GP has recommended you exercise more, or you’ve had a recent health scare. Maybe your family’s been nagging you to get off the couch or you’ve decided yourself that it’s time to lose some weight.
Everybody knows that to lose weight you need to eat less or exercise more – or ideally do both. The evidence supporting the benefits of regular exercise and eating less is overwhelming, but for people looking to lose weight, it remains unclear whether there are extra benefits to be gained from increasing the intensity of workouts.
Despite massive government, medical and individual efforts to win the war on obesity, 71 percent of Americans are overweight. The average adult is 24 pounds heavier today than in 1960. Our growing girth adds some US$200 billion per year to our health care expenditure, amounting to a severe health crisis.
When you think about body fat, it’s probably white fat that comes to mind. That’s where our bodies store excess calories, and it’s the stuff you want to get rid of when you are trying to lose weight. But white fat isn’t the only kind of fat in the body – you also have brown fat and beige, or brite, fat, which can actually burn calories instead of storing them.
The mainstays of most of the diet regimens of the last 30 years have been the GI (glycaemic index) rating score as well as its cousin the glycaemic load. Famous best-selling diet books such as the G-Plan Diet, the South Beach diet all used the index in some way and changed the way we thought about carbohydrates. Now a detailed new study published in Cell pays this score – and how we use it – some closer scrutiny.