Sunday, September 19, 2010

Diet: More Important Than Exercise

To beat a dead horse some more: Exercise alone won't make you thin.
More and more research in both the UK and the US is emerging to show that exercise has a negligible impact on weight loss. That tri-weekly commitment to aerobics class? Almost worthless, as far as fitting into your bikini is concerned. The Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research establishment in the US, reports that, in general, studies "have demonstrated no or modest weight loss with exercise alone" and that "an exercise regimen… is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change."
More and more researchers have concluded that tons of exercise just makes you hungrier:
[T]hose who exercised cancelled out the calories they had burned by eating more, generally as a form of self-reward. The post-workout pastry to celebrate a job well done – or even a few pieces of fruit to satisfy their stimulated appetites – undid their good work. In some cases, they were less physically active in their daily life as well.
The University of Louisiana conducted the "defining experiment" on this subject, placing hundreds of overweight females on different workout programs for six months.
Some worked out for 72 minutes each week, some for 136 minutes, and some for 194. A fourth group kept to their normal daily routine with no additional exercise. Against all the laws of natural justice, at the end of the study, there was no significant difference in weight loss between those who had exercised – some of them for several days a week – and those who hadn't.
Some even gained weight.

Took a one-hour aerobics class? Ran a 5K? Killed a WOD? Good for you. Exercise is awesome, and is a critical part of any health and fitness regimen. Just don't overcompensate with a big slice of cheesecake.

(Source: Guardian)