A moment on the lips

The saying goes that to the effect of: “a moment on the lips, a year on the hips”. The idea being that your momentary indulgence in poor quality food now might be enjoyable for an instant but it will take you far longer to be rid of the weight gain that results. This sage piece of wisdom has now been validated by a new piece of research.

The researchers were in this instance prompted to investigate the long term effects of what they so delicately labelled a “sedentary and gluttonous lifestyle”. To do this they had half of their subjects stop exercising for four weeks and increase their kilojoule intake by an average 70 per cent. The other subjects went on as normal for four weeks.

Those who exercised less and ate more gained an average of 6.4kg on bodyweight. No surprises so far. Most of this weight was lost six months later. Again, no surprise as exercise had been resumed and kilojoule intake had come back to normal.

However, one year later the people who had eaten heavily for four weeks had an increased fat mass compared to when the study began and this was even more exaggerated after two and a half years. This is despite returing to normal food consumption and exercise patters after the course of the study.

What this shows is that even a short period of excessive eating and lack of exercise can potentially alter your physiology making it difficult to lose and keep off weight. Somehow periods of indulgence recalibrate your body’s hormonal and enzymatic system so that you hold on to weight. It really is a case of, a month on the lips, a few years on the hips.

Once again, science has been able to catch up with what an old wive’s tale has told us for decades. Those old wives were pretty sharp.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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