It is often said that the secret to losing weight is as simple as burning off more energy than you’re putting into your body. And by that logic, you should be able to shift weight by hitting the gym – provided you’re not eating lots more than you were before.
But there may also be some truth in the saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet, as many people who’ve been pounding the treadmills for months without seeing any results will be able to attest.
As everyone knows, regular exercise does wonders for your mental health and general well-being, and it’s also been linked to longer life expectancy and reduced risk of heart attacks, diabetes and dementia.
However, increasingly research is showing that exercising won’t help you lose weight nearly as much as most people think.
‘People expect exercise to be a great way to help them lose weight, but the effects on weight are only small,’ says Dick Thijssen, a professor in cardiovascular physiology and exercise at Liverpool John Moores University.
Some studies have shown that working out raises your base metabolic rate which means you burn more calories over the course of the day, but according to Professor Thijssen, if you exercised for three or four months without changing your diet, you’d only lose about 1kg (2.2lbs).
According to the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research establishment in the US, in general, studies “have demonstrated no or modest weight loss with exercise alone.”
It strongly suggested that exercising without eating less would not help you lose weight. What’s more, many people overestimate how many calories they’ve burned off exercising and so overcompensate by eating too much.
Professor Thijssen believes the key to weight loss is simply consuming less and cutting your calories.
Getting moving is undoubtedly good for the body – you’ll build muscle, tone your body and get fitter by working out. What’s more, exercising also reduces internal fat around your organs.
And many studies have shown that exercise reduces the risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, reduces blood pressure and improves brain and heart health
So, don’t hang up your trainers just yet, but if you’re trying to lose weight, it could be worth skipping pudding once in a while.
Original source – Independent