A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 3: Weight Management 51 Hierarchy of Fat Loss As mentioned previously, regular exercise is considered an effective weight management strategy. However, not all types of exercise will produce the same results. Research suggests that low-intensity steady-state exercise is relatively ineffective at promoting fat loss (Miller et al., 1997; Thorogood et al., 2011) and, despite decades of research, the physiological mechanisms by which exercise is used to regulate fat mass is still not clearly understood (Cosgrove, 2019; Melanson et al., 2009). Despite this uncertainty, current research suggests there may be a hierarchy of factors to consider in terms of losing body fat and keeping it off (Gilbert, 2019). Figure 3.4 depicts this hierarchy of fat loss. Figure 3.4. Hierarchy of Factors for Fat Loss Notice in Figure 3.4, nutrition is the most important factor and is fundamental in order to achieve fat loss. Israetel et al. (2019) proposes there is also a hierarchy in terms of nutritional priorities (Figure 3.5). Specifically, caloric balance (i.e., calories consumed vs. calories burned), macronutrient amounts (i.e., grams of carbohydrate, protein, and fat consumed per day), nutrient timing (i.e., when and how macronutrients are spread out across daily meals), food composition (i.e., sources of macronutrients consumed), and supplement use.