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Study Shows That Exercise Won't Aid in Weight Loss

Why Exercise Won't Help You Lose Weight . . . Sort Of

There have been a lot of reports in the last year confirming that contrary to popular belief, not all exercise leads to significant weight loss. If you want to shed pounds, it mostly comes down to diet. It’s no surprise that changing your diet can help you lose weight, but for decades, many people believed that exercise was the best pathway to a slimmer, fitter you.

Today the New York Times added to the news that exercise doesn’t significantly aid in weight loss by reporting the results of an exercise and obesity study. The study followed a group of 58 obese individual who underwent three months of supervised aerobic activity but didn’t change their diets at all. And while the group lost an average of seven pounds, many participants barely lost three.

I admit that when all of these studies started coming up I was a little shocked, but it turns out that high intensity workouts mainly burn carbs, not just fat.

To hear what type of exercise may maximize fat loss,

.

The article explains: "'The message of our work is really simple,' although not agreeable to hear, said Edward Melanson, PhD, the lead author of the study. 'It all comes down to energy balance,' or, as you might have guessed, calories in and calories out. People 'are only burning 200 or 300 calories' in a typical 30-minute exercise session, Melanson points out. 'You replace that with one bottle of Gatorade.'"

Fat loss can be maximized, but it’s a matter of how you approach your workout. To do this, work out at a lower intensity in your fat-burning zone, which is 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. For most people this zone falls between 105-134 beats per minute. Melanson’s study also found that once weight is lost from reduced calorie intake, exercise might prevent it from coming back by resetting metabolic pathways that stop the body from wanting to store fat.

The research is interesting, but should not dissuade any of us from our fitness goals. The benefits of exercise reach far beyond weight loss — it helps the brain function better, reduces stress, creates a toned body, and is important for healthy heart function.

Image Source: Getty
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Trainerpack Trainerpack 6 years
This article is right but it's title is obviously bull!Its just written that way to be catchy. It's actually bad to do so because it automatically forces a negative thought regarding exercise Is there really a need to do that?I am a personal trainer and if anything I always encourage my clients to do ANY exercise. For all of you ladies out there, any exercise you do - is a benefit! So keep doing what you are doing. If you want some tips from me check out my site Trainerpack.
Trainerpack Trainerpack 6 years
This article is right but it's title is obviously bull! Its just written that way to be catchy. It's actually bad to do so because it automatically forces a negative thought regarding exercise Is there really a need to do that? I am a personal trainer and if anything I always encourage my clients to do ANY exercise. For all of you ladies out there, any exercise you do - is a benefit! So keep doing what you are doing. If you want some tips from me check out my site Trainerpack.
biarose biarose 6 years
So what if I'm eating a highish calorie diet, but exercising so much that there is still a deficit? Will I still not lose weight?? Doesn't make much sense..
abbymeatsix abbymeatsix 6 years
Gee. What ever happened to diets being a temporary weight lost thing? :( sigh. well at least i can cut off some of that excercise now.
littlekaren littlekaren 6 years
AWESOME explanation, Spectra! Thank you so much!!!!
Spectra Spectra 6 years
Here's what people don't realize/aren't taking into consideration: the metabolic pathways in exercisers are changed so they become less prone to store fat. See, when you work out often, you're body realizes that your muscles are going to be needing glycogen soon to fuel them, so your body starts storing the food you eat in your muscles for easy access. Glycogen carries a lot of water with it, so it can make you hang onto water weight; that's a big reason why people who work out a lot have fluctuating weights. My own weight can fluctuate greatly depending on the time of day and how much glycogen my body is hanging onto. This study is focusing solely on weight, but exercise generally targets your body's fat stores/energy stores, which will lead to a better LOOKING body, even if it's not much lighter.
sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
This is completely true for me. A week of cutting back on certain foods shows results, but a week of exercising everyday (and maintaining my diet, not treating myself with donuts just because I hit the gym) does practically nothing. But I agree that a healthy body is a body that exercises, not to mention that it's a more attractive body as well!
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
Wait a minute.. doesn't just having a lot of muscle tone burn fat? And doesn't it take working out to gain muscle tone?Doesn't that fact alone contradict this story?Just curious.
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
Wait a minute.. doesn't just having a lot of muscle tone burn fat? And doesn't it take working out to gain muscle tone? Doesn't that fact alone contradict this story? Just curious.
Zulkey Zulkey 6 years
when it comes to weight loss it IS all diet. I think when it comes to weight maintenance however exercise plays a much bigger role.The thing that was most valuable to me when I started losing weight was that actually my therapist had me quit exercising for a bit so I could stop combining my eating with my exercise emotionally (IE if I didn't work out I ate like a pig since I was lazy anyway so "might as well"), etc. That helped me a lot even though some people found it horrifying.
Zulkey Zulkey 6 years
when it comes to weight loss it IS all diet. I think when it comes to weight maintenance however exercise plays a much bigger role. The thing that was most valuable to me when I started losing weight was that actually my therapist had me quit exercising for a bit so I could stop combining my eating with my exercise emotionally (IE if I didn't work out I ate like a pig since I was lazy anyway so "might as well"), etc. That helped me a lot even though some people found it horrifying.
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