Exercise alone won’t cause weight loss
I hate to break it to you but in case you thought signing up for that fitness subscription was the missing link in your weight loss efforts a new study seriously undermines that concept:
Exercise alone is not enough to lose weight because our bodies reach a plateau where working out more does not necessarily burn extra calories, researchers have found.
The team are the latest to challenge obesity prevention strategies that recommend increasing daily physical activity as a way to shed the pounds.
In a study, published in Current Biology on Thursday, they suggest that there might be a physical activity “sweet spot”, whereby too little can make one unhealthy but too much drives the body to make big adjustments to adapt, thus constraining total energy expenditure.
Exercise is good … but it won’t help you lose weight, say doctors
If true, it would go some way to explaining an apparent contradiction between two types of study carried out by researchers. On the one hand, there are studies which show that increasing exercise levels tends to lead to people expending more energy and on the other, there are ecological studies in humans and animals showing that more active populations (for example hunter-gatherers in Africa) do not have higher total energy expenditure.
Prof Herman Pontzer of City University of New York (CUNY), one of the new study’s authors, said: “Exercise is really important for your health. That’s the first thing I mention to anyone asking about the implications of this work for exercise. There is tons of evidence that exercise is important for keeping our bodies and minds healthy, and this work does nothing to change that message. What our work adds is that we also need to focus on diet, particularly when it comes to managing our weight and preventing or reversing unhealthy weight gain.”