Exercise on its own will not help you drop pounds if you continue eating an unhealthy diet.
An Australian review of 43 weight loss studies dating as far back as 1985 has proven this.
“Exercise by itself is not going to be an effective weight-loss strategy for an individual. You really need to combine exercise with better nutrition,” said review lead author Dr. Kelly Shaw, a public health doctor with the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania.
Dr. Shaw further concluded that following a healthy diet actually does more to help weight loss than exercise.
“You need to look at your nutrition intake because there’s a bigger bang for your buck from modifying nutrition than there is with physical activity,” she tells those who want to lose weight.
Her review is published in The Cochrane Library journal.
It seems apparent that diet has more of an impact on weight loss than exercise in the short term, according to John Jakicic, chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Jakicic was not involved in the review.
“Within 6 months, with diet alone, we can get about a 9 or 10 kilogram weight loss, which is over 20 pounds, versus with activity, we get about a 2 kilogram weight loss in that same period of time,” Jakicic said.
But exercise should not be ignored. While diet is important in the early stages of weight loss, “exercise seems to be one of those key factors for keeping the weight off when you lose it,” Jakicic said.