Both Diet and Exercise are Important for Weight Loss Success

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/5/2011 10:26 AM   :  37 comments   :  11,873 Views

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In my experience with exercise and weight loss, you can't out-train a bad diet. If I wanted to lose weight, all of the exercise in the world didn't help if I wasn't paying attention to what I was eating. I know others who have chosen to lose weight through diet alone, instead of incorporating any exercise. They typically had more success than I did. But it seems that the most success (and the healthiest way to do it) is when you combine the two. New research analyzes these three methods of weight loss (exercise alone, diet alone, and a combo of the two) to compare the differences in progress.

The study, published in the online version of the journal Obesity, studied over 400 overweight and obese women ages 50 to 75. Participants were split into 4 groups: those who only exercised, those who only dieted, those who did both, and those who did nothing. At the end of the year-long intervention, the exercise-only group lost 2.4% of their starting weight. The diet-only group lost 8.5%, and those who dieted and exercised regularly lost an average of 10.8% of their starting weight.

In addition to helping with weight loss, exercise has other benefits like increased strength, cardiovascular fitness, etc. And you don't have to spend hours in the gym to make it worth the effort. Even small amounts of exercise can provide these benefits.

Study participants who had the most success not only combined diet and exercise, but kept a food journal and prepared more meals at home instead of eating out. Although these findings might not be revolutionary, I think they reinforce the importance of a well-rounded program when trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Interested in more tips related to weight loss? Check out 9 Cold, Hard Truths Weight Loss Truths.

What do you think? When it comes to your personal weight loss progress, what combination of diet and exercise has worked best for you?


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