On August 24, a new study published in the online Open Access edition of the journal Nutrition & Metabolism has found that those that eat more than they exert are more likely to store long-lasting fat.

Åsa Ernersson, RN, BSC, and colleagues at Linköping University, Sweden analyzed what happens physically after enjoying four weeks of a "gluttonous lifestyle," and noted, "The long term difference in body weight in the intervention and control groups suggests that there is an extended effect on fat mass after a short period of large food consumption and minimal exercise.  

"The change of fat mass was larger than expected when compared to the controls, it suggests that even short-term behavioural changes may have prolonged effects on health," Ernersson concluded. 

These findings highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of fitness and nutritious foods and underscore that bingeing for over 28 days "can potentially change an individual's physiology," making it more difficult to shed unwanted kilos.

If you aren't sure how many calories you are burning you might want to try using an activity calorie calculator iPhone app (like Bodybugg, BioTrainer or LiveStrong Calorie Tracker) and be mindful of how many calories you are eating (apps like The Daily Plate, FatSecret's Calorie Counter).

Full study, "Long-term increase of fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity": http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/