This past week an article in the New York Times reported the results of a group of researchers who had analyzed data from 6 separate studies regarding the results of those who had gone through an exercise program, and 10% of the individuals actually got worse – i.e. had higher blood pressure or some higher result related to heart disease.
How can this be true?
A few research studies have indicated that when an individual is overweight, toxins can be released into the body once they start the weight loss process, making them feel much worse than before, and possibly affect parameters in the body.
For example, if I see a patient who comes to me for abnormal blood sugars – whether they are pre-diabetic or diabetic – I warn them they may feel worse for a few weeks after starting a healthy eating regimen.
When the body is operating in homeostasis, it likes that, even if it is unhealthy. The body becomes adjusted to this state of existence and it becomes “the new normal.”
When someone who has higher blood sugars eats in a way to lower the blood sugars the body senses the change. The period going from high to normal blood sugars can be down right miserable for up to 6 weeks till the system has changed. However, once the blood sugars are normal and stabilized, a person feels on top of the world.
Exercise can start the process of lowering blood sugars, and weight and in the process the liver can be overloaded with things that need to be detoxified, till homeostasis and health is achieved.
The article pointed out the studies were not long term and therefore could not really report what would have happened had the individuals been followed through the difficult stage.
Many things in life are like that? It has to get worse before it gets better. Don’t use this study as an excuse not to exercise. Exercise is still the magic pill and there are millions of research studies to back that up.
Remember the initial hump can be painful but once you are over that, health is on the other side – and in no time you will have turned back your own time.