Exercise and weight loss
A recent study into obesity done in Sweden has shown that exercise contributes very little to achieving initial weight loss but that it’s vital in maintaining the weight loss that has already been achieved.
There has long been an emphasis on exercise as an important part of a weight reduction program. This certainly has merits, but the big question is if you can lose weight only by exercise. I often hear the statement “..I will work it off later”. Many people feel that if they just did more exercise then they should be able to eat anything.
Using exercise as a primary weight loss strategy does not work unless you change your eating habits as well. This is because you can not burn enough calories to compensate for over-eating.
One recent study investigated this in more detail.
Two groups of men completed an 8-week diet/exercise program. One group went on a diet and the other group did both the diet and exercise program. After the 8 weeks both groups had lost the same amount of weight. But when monitored further the group that did exercise in addition to the diet maintained their weight loss while the group that did only the diet actually regained their weight.
This study shows that to lose weight you need to go on a diet but to actually maintain any weight loss you need to exercise as well.
A balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is still the best way to lose weight and reduce fat. Diet is an excellent plan with lots of practical advice about dieting, exercise, diet-motivation and long term weight control.