A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 3: Weight Management 52 Figure 3.5. Hierarchy of Factors for Nutrition Just above nutrition, proper sleep and stress management plays the next most important role in effective weight management. We will be talking more about sleep and stress in Chapter 4. At the top of the list is hormonal balance. Although this topic will not be discussed in detail, hormones play a critical role in weight management. In addition to controlling blood sugar levels and insulin balance, hormones regulate our metabolism and therefore are intricately connected to the amount of fat gained or lost. After sleep and stress management, exercise is the next most important factor in effective weight management. Just as with nutrition, there also seems to be a hierarchy in terms of the effectiveness of exercise in promoting fat loss (Cosgrove, 2019). As depicted in Figure 3.6, strength training (ST) and endurance training (ET) performed in combination is likely the best approach to losing body fat and keeping it off. However, current research would suggest that ST performed in isolation may be more effective than ET performed in isolation in terms of promoting fat loss. Additionally, some forms of ST seem to be more effective than others. According to Cosgrove (2019), metabolic resistance training (MRT) and circuit training (aka high-intensity resistance training) seem to be more effective in terms of promoting fat loss than traditional resistance training. Both MRT and circuit training involve performing multiple sets of the compound lifts. For MRT, the last set is comprised of at least three micro-sets with short intra-set rest periods interspersed (e.g., 20 seconds). The unique programming and execution of MRT is believed to result in a higher post-exercise caloric expenditure, up to four times higher, than traditional low-intensity steady state exercise (Cosgrove, 2019). Similarly, some forms of ET may be more