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Exercise without diet causes a small amount of weight loss in men, but not women
Tuesday, October 11, 2005 5:39 am Email this article
"[E]xercise alone provided weight loss benefits to men only," according to a two-year study from University of Minnesota. WOMEN
Women lost 1 lbs with exercise alone
Women who engaged in a high amount of exercise alone without a change in fat intake lost an average of roughly 1.2 pound after two years, which is the same as a reduction in body mass index (BMI) of 0.2 units.
Men lost 4 lbs with exercise alone
For men, a high amount of exercise reduced BMI by 0.6 units, which is roughly 4.2 pounds for a man of average height.
Comments: Exercise alone not very effective
These results are not surprising.
Numerous studies have reported similar results; women doing a reasonable amount of exercise don’t lose much weight. Sorry ladies.
Comments: Exercise reduced weight gain in women by 1 lbs
One study found that after eleven years, women who exercised alot gained only one pound less than women who exercise little or none at all.
Comments: Exercise critical for weight maintenance
Another paper concluded that exercise is critical for weight maintenance, “physical activity does not appear to contribute significantly to weight loss”.
It is important to highlight this: exercise is important for weight maintenance.
A few studies have found that exercise alone can cause women to lose a significant amount of weight, however, they must do a huge amount of exercise—a couple hours per day.
How many women, or men for that matter, are going to exercise a couple of hours a day? Not many.
Comment: Studies show diet alone nearly as effective as diet plus exercise
Numerous studies have also found that women lose nearly as much weight from diet alone as from diet plus exercise.
Most studies which have found that exercise alone causes weight loss are done with young men in their early 20’s.
Comment: Diet essential for weight loss
The important thing to take home from this study is that if you want to lose weight, you must change the way that you eat.
Comment: Men too need to both diet and exercise for substantial weight loss
It is also important to note that men did not lose all that much weight from exercise alone either; they only lost about 4 pounds. That’s not exactly the kind of weight loss that will get your picture on the cover of a magazine.
Men too, need to both diet and exercise if they want to lose a significant amount of weight also.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
Comment: Exercise essential for good health
This article is not meant to discourage exercise. It is simply meant to tell people the truth about what they can expect from exercie alone.
Exercise has been found to reduce the risk of dying, reduce the risk of a heart attack, reduce the risk of some cancers, including breast cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, and improve cognitive function in older people.
Next to eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, exercise is probaby the best thing you can do for your self.
Comment: Other results of this study covered in next article
Other results of this study are covered in the next article.
Dunn CL, Hannan PJ, Jeffery RW, Sherwood NE, Pronk NP, Boyle R. The comparative and cumulative effects of a dietary restriction and exercise on weight loss. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2005 Oct 4.
Dr. C. L. Dunn
Division of Epidemiology
School of Public Health
University of Minnesota
1300 South Second Street, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
Articles on the same subject can be found here:
On Nov 05, 2005 at 8:35 am Randy Smith, MD wrote:
. . . . .
I wish more people understood this.
I have been going to the same gym now for about three years. I see many people start exercise programs and drop out for lack of results. It is painful to watch some days.
It is all but impossible to make significant progress with weight loss by exercise alone. Usually dietary habits have created high fasting insulin levels that prevent weight loss. Only be lowering the glycemic index of their diets are they going to be able unlock those stored caloric reserves and burn them off.
Not to mention how difficult it is to burn calories when you are out of shape. A typical beginner at the gym would be lucky to burn a hundred calories in an hour. At this rate if they exercised an hour per day by the end of the month they would have lost about a pound all other things being equal.
On Nov 11, 2005 at 2:58 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:
. . . . .
My doctors have said the same thing -- that exercise alone causes little weight gain.
I'm glad the literature is starting to reflect this truth.
I hate to hear journalists say, "Weight loss is just a matter of diet and exercise," as if there were equal. They are not.
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