Turns Out Your Exercise Habits Could Be Making You Gain Weight

by | Oct 16, 2018

There are few things in life more frustrating than watching the numbers on the scale rise when you’ve legit been making alllll the healthy choices.

But contrary to popular belief, minimising calorie intake and ramping up the workouts does not guarantee you a one-way ticket to shred city.

RELATED: Bedtime Habits That Will Make You Gain Weight

Unfair? Totally. But it does make sense. You see, the more energy we expend the more we want to eat.

Scientists Dr Gisela Helfer from the University of Bradford and Dr Rebecca Dumbbell from the MRC Hartwell Institute came to this conclusion after thoroughly analysing the habits of hamsters. Similarly to humans, the part of the brain that controls the animals’ appetite and body weight is called the hypothalamus. In their research, they found that the hormones that affect this area are actually triggered by growth signals – the very same that are increased when we exercise.

“If hamsters have access to a running wheel, they will exercise more than usual,” they explained in a piece for The Conversation. “When they are exercising on their wheel, they gain weight and eat more…”

Importantly, this extra body weight isn’t just made up of muscle, but extra fat. And the reason why is simple: our bodies are biologically programmed to prompt us to fill up on food the more we exercise (coz, fuel.)

“We now understand that the exercise-stimulated weight gain has to do with hormones that usually regulate growth, because when we block these hormones the weight gain can be reversed,” they continued.

But don’t go taking this as permission to cancel your gym membership, just yet. The study’s authors stress that these findings merely highlight which systems need to be looked at in greater detail in order to better understand how weight regulation works.  

Bottom line? Exercise in moderation if you wanna feel the biggest benefits.   

RELATED: 4 ‘Health’ Foods That Are Sabotaging Your Diet

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Women Fleeing Domestic Violence Can Now Receive A One-Off Support Payment

It’s been labelled the shadow pandemic and the fact remains that for many women across Australia, domestic violence is a lived reality that doesn’t discriminate by age, occupation, or socio-economic status. Researchers have found that during Covid-19 lockdowns, there was a surge in family and domestic violence, with agencies experiencing a surge in demand as nearly half their clients reported an increase in controlling behaviours. 

As many who have lived through such turmoil and trauma can attest, the roadmap to fleeing such situations at home can be fraught with challenges and extremely difficult to navigate, particularly when such bureaucracy makes it even harder. Now, it’s been announced that women fleeing a violent relationship will be given a one-off $5,000 payment as part of a federal government trial scheme. 

Known as the “escaping violence payment scheme,” the government has set aside $144.5 million over the next two years to give women $1,500 cash, with the remainder to pay for goods and services, bond, school fees and other necessaries to establish a new safe home. UnitingCare Network will be tasked with delivering the payments while helping link women and their children with relevant community services. 

As the Daily Telegraph reports, “An analysis of domestic violence data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that while it is more common for women from poorer areas, women from high socio-economic areas are not immune from experiencing partner violence.”

As Women’s Safety Minister Anne Ruston explained, the trial has been introduced with the aim to help women overcome the financial barriers that might deter them from leaving a violent relationship. “We know that financial hardship as well as economic abuse - which may involve interfering with work or controlling or withholding money - reduces women’s ability to acquire and use money and makes it difficult to leave violent relationships,” she said. 

“The payments will assist people who need financial support to leave. We know the size of the house a woman is fleeing doesn’t matter. Often she bundles the kids into the car, maybe the dog too and they leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.”

To be eligible for a payment, women must be facing financial stress and have some evidence of domestic violence such as a referral from a family and domestic violence service provider with a risk assessment and safety plan, or an AVO, court order or police report. As UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little said, “We believe that all people, especially women and their children, have the right to live freely and without fear, and this payment is an important step forward to ending violence against women and children.”

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about domestic violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online. 

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.