Four Days Of Extreme Exercise = Lasting Weight Loss

It sounds like another falsely promising come-on for weight loss, but it’s reported by one of the most reliable health and fitness writers around: the New York Timesimages‘ Gretchen Reynolds. Reynolds tells us about a new study, published in March in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, showing that just four days of intense exercise and minimal calorie intake can take off pounds in a way that keeps them off for months. Here, read this: “Researchers in Spain and Sweden had 15 healthy but overweight Swedish men restrict their calories to about 360 a day, a reduction of approximately 1,800 calories. What calories they did ingest came in liquid form: Some men drank mostly sugary carbohydrates, others a high-protein drink. The men also exercised — a lot. Their days began with 45 minutes of cranking an arm-pedaling machine for an upper-body workout. Then, as a group, the men strolled for eight hours across the Swedish countryside, with only a 10-minute break every hour. They were allowed as much of a low-calorie, sports-type beverage as they wanted during their walks.” After four days, Reynolds reports, the men had each lost almost 11 pounds. Wait, there’s more. A month later, most had lost another two pounds, and a full year later the men still weighed five pounds less than they did before the grueling experiment.  Read more in the New York Times.


  1. As an unforturately still working class Sports Geezer, I really don’t have the time and frankly the endurance to work out and then take an 8 hour hike, even if I do get a 4 day w/e.

    Besides, I really work out because I enjoy the way it makes me feel; before, during and after. I don’t use it looking for some gimickly way to lose a few pounds and then forget about it for a few weeks. Who does that, honestly? It’s interesting, but not really useful except in maybe a lab setting.

  2. mary loughman

    I think it will be fun to walk for eight hours, hard but fun. I’m not sure I can reproduce the 45 minutes of arm exercise. It is pretty low intensity though; 15%. I’ll just do various arm things to music. Going to see if I can do one day!

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