Weight Loss and Exercise Guidelines from ACSM
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released a new Position Stand, Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults, which addresses obesity and overweight in adults. Specific dietary and exercise recommendations are included. The paper also explores resistance exercise and pharmacotherapy in relation to weight loss and prevention of weight regain.
Here is a summary. Note the recommendation for strength training, which is so important for lean body mass (muscle and bone) maintenance.
Prevent weight gain
- 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with prevention of weight gain
- More than 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with modest weight loss.
- 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity provides only modest weight loss.
- Greater amounts (eg, >250 minutes) provide clinically significant weight loss.
- Energy/diet restriction combined with physical activity will increase weight loss as compared to diet alone.
Maintain weight after weight loss
- There is some evidence that >250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity will prevent weight re-gain.
ACSM recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent significant weight gain and reduce associated chronic disease risk factors. For most adults, this amount of physical activity can be easily achieved in 30 minutes/day, five days a week. Overweight and obese individuals will most likely experience greater weight reduction and prevent weight regain with 250+ minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
ACSM also recommends strength training as part of this health and fitness regimen, in order to increase fat-free mass and further reduce health risks.