Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Exercise Is Not as Effective as Diet in Weight Loss

A 2009 New York Time magazine article suggested that exercise alone will not cause a person to lose an appreciable amount of weight. The article's author indicated that it is what you eat that counts in weight loss, not how hard you exercise. Indeed, it is generally accepted that exercise alone is not as effective, in losing weight, as exercise plus a low calorie diet. Further, there is research that gives some evolutionary basis for exercise being less effective as a weight loss tool than diet.

According to the research, exercise does not make a great deal of difference in weight loss, because over millions of years of evolution our bodies have been able to "adapt to our daily routines and find ways to keep overall energy expenditure in check.”

According to the research, "if we want to end obesity, we need to focus on our diet and reduce the number of calories we eat, particularly the sugars our primate brains have evolved to love."  The investigators argue that being sedentary is not what's causing us to get fat. Eating too much is what's leading to the overweight problem we have.

Assuming that eating too much is our basic problem, and that evolution greatly limits our ability to lose weight via exercise, we need to concentrate on our diet to lose significant weight. We need to keep food diaries, plan our meals with calorie content in mind, and reduce food portion size. These kinds of activities can help us better maintain a healthy weight.

Still, exercise is an important part of maintaining weight loss. And exercise is important to our mental health. Therefore, combining a healthy, low calorie diet with frequent exercise is the winning combination for long-term good health, including weight control. And it is incumbent on weight loss service providers to always make this clear.

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