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CSBILLIE9019 SparkPoints: (1,105)
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10/17/13 1:01 P

Thanks Brianlieberth. That's encouraging and so true. I will continue to eat well and workout for all the reasons you mentioned! If my body is mesnt to be smaller it'll happen. Love Sparkpeople so much for all it allows me to keep doing w no real results lately...

Edited by: CSBILLIE9019 at: 10/17/2013 (13:07)
Your best teacher is your last mistake!
GIPPER1961 Posts: 650
10/17/13 12:48 P

I am not a doctor or a scientist and while that adage i have heard and agree with is you can't outrun a bad diet. If you eat lots of calories in garbage food you can't possibly burn enough calories through exercise. That being said exercise provides so many benefits I would never recommend diet alone.

My mental state is so much better under the influence of exercise. Your heart health improves, your blood glucose levels level our without needing increased insulin being secreted. Blood pressure improves. Hand in hand exercise and nutrition improve your life

Science is never settled. Refusing to adjust to new findings is not science at all, but dogma.
10/17/13 10:35 A

Okay, as a personal trainer and health coach and someone who used to weigh 275 pounds, I feel very comfortable saying with certainty that moderate exercise does very little to contribute to weight loss. This is for a couple of reasons. First, overall calories burned is very insignificant. Second, extended steady state exercise burns mostly fat. Sounds good, right? Well, not quite. You have to look at both food and exercise as information to your body. When you spend an exercise session burning mostly fat, you are sending the message to your body that it needs to work harder at storing fat in the future because you're going to need to access it for more of this type of cardio. However, when you do spurts of high intensity cardio activities (look up "HIIT"), you burn mainly sugar that is stored in your muscles. So you are sending the message to your body to store addition sugar in your muscles. This allows you to work harder in the future AND forces your body to dip into it's fat stores for energy for the next 24-36 hours while it works so hard to store additional sugar.
When I gain a few pounds and need to lean out a little again, I head right for high intensity interval training (HIIT) and I see fast results all the time. Not to mention (while it may be way harder during) it makes you feel amazing after your workouts which contributes to overall well being which reduces cravings due to psychological distress.
Oh! And one more thing! Doing cardio for more than 40 minutes raises cortisol levels (the stress hormone) which encourages fat storage around our midsection, speeds up the aging process and adds to food cravings. I get my workouts done in 35-40 minutes and continue to get in the best shape of my life!

Tammi Barbagallo
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach

My Weight Loss Blog:

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I didn't get healthy because I lost weight, I lost weight because I got healthy!

The TRUE key to weight loss success is educating yourself ABOUT YOURSELF! Don't let someone else do it for you because no one has all the answers! No one! Don
CSBILLIE9019 SparkPoints: (1,105)
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10/17/13 10:26 A

I'm so very discouaged. I have been working out in the amfor 30 mins, using my gazelle 30 mins at home and walking at lunch 30 mins. I have logged in everything i've eaten. Staying w/in range for calories, protein, carbs. I cant understand how i havent lost weight??? 3 wks and i do feel great but so confused??? Help please w suggestions.

Your best teacher is your last mistake!
DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/30/13 9:34 P

Exercise work.

BERRY4 SparkPoints: (174,966)
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4/30/13 7:07 P

The only time I had real success w/ exercise "making the difference" is when I walked over 500 miles in 6 months, training for a marathon. At the end of the marathon, I posted my lowest weight in the past 6 years. -- I have yet to attain that again.

I realize that I tend to "chase" poor food choices with exercise. At the best, it causes a plateau. At the worst, I gain.

"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible."
~C. Malesherbes~

"Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."
Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)

EENER61 SparkPoints: (7,345)
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4/30/13 5:00 P

downloading this to my kindle now, thanks for the tip. I have exercised all my life but am 50 lbs overweight, I definately can say that I believe diet is 80% and exercise is 20% wt loss success. renee

MOTHERBOARDER SparkPoints: (156,058)
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4/30/13 10:20 A

if you watch your calorie intake!

UNWONTED SparkPoints: (8,076)
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4/30/13 10:05 A

Back in the day when I lived with my sister, we decided to go on a diet together. She exercised every day and tried to eat a little more healthy (but had a hard time resisting the Little Debbie snacks in the work vending machine). I stuck to a very strict calorie intake and exercised once a week if at all. She lost around 10 pounds. I lost around 30.

I have found that keeping my calories down works better for me than eating how I normally would (junk, junk, and more junk!) and exercising five days a week.

Of course, the combination of the two works the very best. I find that when I exercise, I am actually less hungry and am especially less hungry for fatty foods. I crave something lighter and fresher after I exercise.

Can't forget we only get what we give."-Gregg Alexander

DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/30/13 9:32 A

Work for me.

BEEZAUR SparkPoints: (525)
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4/29/13 9:36 P

500 calories burned is a fairly hard workout. If it makes you thirsty enough to drink a recovery drink, that can be 250 calories. Maybe you have a snack too - another 250 calories.

It's actually pretty easy to break even or be in excess for calories working out.

P.S. I think they key to losing and working out is to have a recovery food - I use milk - and limit yourself on calories.

Edited by: BEEZAUR at: 4/29/2013 (21:38)
DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/29/13 8:21 P

100% correct

DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/29/13 8:21 P

100% correct

MELSILVIS SparkPoints: (848)
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4/29/13 7:16 P

Exercise=calories burned=weight loss emoticon Correct me if I'm wrong here.

I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it's made illegal
DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/29/13 4:46 P

Oh well all I can say it work for me

TREADIN4BSP Posts: 883
4/29/13 4:00 P

I guess it depends on the person. I, personally have found that diet alone has not worked to help me lose weight. I have only had any success AT ALL if I do both the diet portion and exercising a minimum of 45 minutes (and preferably 60) minutes 5 -6 days per week. Meanwhile, I have a friend who doesn't exercise at all, cuts back on her soda and sunflower seeds intake a little bit and can drop tons of weight fast.

short and mid-term goal:
stay consistent and keep losing weight.
long-term goal:
feel better about myself and not have weight be something I think about on a daily basis.

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
VIRGOGURL4 SparkPoints: (50,955)
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4/29/13 12:02 P

Weight loss is 80 percent nutrition, 20 percent exercise. I skipped the gym and overate for two week straight. Last Monday, I restarted my plan, and have stayed in or close to calorie range. I've already started noticing results, despite missing one exercise class. Nutrition is absolutely more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight.

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"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Albert Einstein

"The reluctant workout is ALWAYS the best workout."-Me

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BOB240 SparkPoints: (6,091)
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4/29/13 11:55 A

I lost a fair bit of weight and exercise was key.. but not for the reasons you might think.

1] Going to the gym and wokring out takes time. During that time you can't eat

2] If you train hard (not Barbie weights and pilates) , for many people there is an appetite suppressant effect. It certainly happens for me. Afterwards I find it hard to eat and am satisfied with smaller portions of well balanced food

3] prior to going to the gym I hardly every eat much in anticipation of a hard work out (I get cramps with too much food in my stomach) So my food intake is also moderate.

4] Whilst in the gym you have a constant reminder of what shape you are in (mirrors, weights machines that test you). These instruments are as powerful as scales when it comes to monitoring your body.

1] -4] above are I believe, key reasons why exercise helps people lose weigth ...

SP is largely about changing lifestyle - exercise is one part of that - weight coming off you and is one by products :) Others include quality of life, reduced propensity to illness, longer life, looking good....

Finished P90x, Insanity? - full training program here:
FLANAGANSH SparkPoints: (6,424)
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4/29/13 11:34 A

I believe that it is a combination of diet AND exercising. And on top of that. "proper" exercise.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (98,006)
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4/29/13 11:30 A

for a person who is completely sedentary, exercise would make more difference. In the beginning, a sedentary person who starts to walk daily would probably see some quick weight loss. But as their body adapts, they would have to add more and more exercise (and still get less results)

For those who are more active, exercise makes more of a difference in body composition than actual weight loss IMO.

no matter what, you cannot outrun a bad diet!

The most handicapped person in the world is a negative thinker; a person who has the skills, abilities, talents and tools, yet chooses not to use them.
~Heather Whitestone

Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen
SCAREWALDORF SparkPoints: (60,467)
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4/29/13 11:12 A

I would say that diet is more important, because of the sheer amount of exercise you have to do to burn off a bad day! Also, if you eat properly and fuel your body, you find exercise easier anyway, so I certainly think diet is the main factor.

DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/28/13 9:39 P

Work for me

BEEZAUR SparkPoints: (525)
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Posts: 74
4/28/13 6:40 P

Short answer: I agree that, in general, exercise does not help a person lose weight. It helps fitness, and helps you want to eat more food.

But that is an oversimplified answer.

In my case I gave up on looking for information in pretty much all popular press type sources about 20 years ago. A lot of it is good, much of it bad, and most of it is incomplete. I had no way of knowing when I was following bad advice, so I shut it all out.

Fast forward to 5 years ago when I lost 80 lbs by just dieting. It became pretty clear pretty fast that losing 2 lbs/week I needed to know more about nutrition than I did. So after I was done (!) I decided to learn for myself.

I got Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook, read it front to back. Extremely helpful in making sound decisions under my own power for once.

I have found it's pretty tricky to lose weight while exercising. My body needs a lot of quality fuel, which runs counter to the weight loss process. You sort of have to understand a lot about the process to get it to work. I find it a lot harder to lose while exercising.

Edited by: BEEZAUR at: 4/28/2013 (18:45)
LYNHALTINER SparkPoints: (27,203)
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4/28/13 6:26 P

Exercise helps me

DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/28/13 3:08 P

It help me to lose my weight.

SMCS28 SparkPoints: (6,586)
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4/27/13 12:46 P

Both are definitely key....but I was just diagnosed with osteopenia and have been reading the book "reversing osteopenia".

What is interesting is that if you DON'T exercise, or do any weight bearing activities you can end up with osteopenia, and if you do TOO MUCH you can end up with it. So moderate activity is apparently key.

So far, the book is saying that you need to do weight bearing exercises (walking, jogging, aerobics, dancing etc) 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes and strength train about 3 times a week (focusing on hips and back exercises, but of course including other muscle groups).

So for me, the exercise (my diet isn't terrible, I just ramped it up with calcium and nutrient dense foods that help with bone loss) will likely help me to lose weight. but would that be considered moderate?

145 lbs by april
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DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/27/13 9:49 A

Both work for me.

KKKAREN SparkPoints: (230,844)
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4/27/13 7:47 A

watching your diet helps you loose weight, exercise keeps you healthy

DELLMEL SparkPoints: (104,580)
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4/26/13 10:19 P

Help me. Cutting down on my eating and exercising I see it. The weight lost.

CCBULLDOG Posts: 625
4/25/13 9:02 A

I believe you can lose weight with diet alone, but adding more muscle by exercising speeds the process. It also feels good to be stronger. emoticon

4/25/13 8:20 A

I love the saying, "You can't out-exercise a bad diet." Because it's so true. Muscle mass will help you burn calories but if your diet is off you won't see the results you're looking for.

JERF - Just Eat Real Food

I'm a Certified Personal Trainer.

I'm not a doctor or dietitian. I'm just a real whole foods nutrition nerd.

I eat mostly vegetables, fats, meats, some fruit and dark chocolate. Unprocessed and preservative free. And it's changed my life!

Goal weight 125lbs
38 years old
2 kids

Lowering my A1C and keeping my blood sugar levels low eating 60-70% fat /15-20% carb / 15-20% protein.
OMENDER Posts: 260
4/25/13 7:36 A

I have heard this, too. There was a NOVA show on in the last couple of weeks called The Truth About Excercize and this was one of the ideas the host explored. They came to the same conclusion but also showed that while it does not help much in weight loss, there are so many other clear and mesurable benefits that it is definitely worth doing.

ECCOVISION1 SparkPoints: (18,953)
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4/24/13 10:44 P

I read an article that discussed this issue. One of the scientists that made the study that showed that exercise did not produce weight loss explained why exercise did not help. The women in the study felt that they could eat more since they were losing weight with exercise. They then indulged in bagels and other fattening foods. These experiments did not provide the women with food trackers.

I also agree with the person who brought up the issue of how moderate the exercises were.

They should redo the experiment by providing the women with a food tracker and more intensive exercises.

AMANDA65899 Posts: 19
4/24/13 10:22 P

I am not sure if it is true or not. I know that the in order to lose weight we need to do both. I am in a plateau where I am eating properly, and tracking all the calories never going over and exercising and nothing is happening. I don't know if it is because I want something to happen quicker but I don't see the scale moving. But I do feel lighter. I think you just need to try to do a bit of exercising every day, get moving a bit more. Just do what you can do.

GRAPLEIRIS SparkPoints: (9,363)
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4/24/13 8:59 P

First I want to say: Good job for reading something, and then stopping to ask yourself: Does this make sense?

Often times blurbs we read in magazines, or things we see on TV or hear on the radio are watered down versions of studies that have been conducted. They lose some of the original intent in translation. So yes, definitely question: what is the definition of moderate exercise? And "helps you lose weight" over what time period? In respect to what group of people?

Other times we get reports of studies that seem to fly in the face of common knowledge. Never trust a study that hasn't been replicated.

If something seems a little off, ask yourself the right questions, then start asking others. It's the age of information and there is no reason to be duped by shoddy reporting.

KELLY_R Posts: 2,858
4/24/13 8:54 P

I've read over and over that successful weight loss is 80% proper nutrition, 20% exercise. I've lived it. The healthier I eat, the better my body responds.

That's not discounting exercise, however. It's very important for overall health... cardiovascular, respiratory, strength, increases bone density... I could go on and on. But it's not the KEY component to weight loss.

Original weight in 2002: 220
Original weight when joining Spark 1/8/06: 149
4/24/13 5:29 P

You can keep up your bad eating and just exercise and you will lose weight in time. However, it won't stay that way and you can end up gaining it back if you make no other changes. I have done that before for years (I worked a physical job so I didn't feel the need to change my habits, of course that was more than moderate, too) but I did plateau at one point. To be honest, I don't take any stock in those articles. I read an article where women eat an average of 12% less during that time of the month, and that did it for me (different magazine). I know of no woman who will eat less during that time. Sorry to get off topic-I just wanted to mention it.

Sometimes the way I write can come across the wrong way. I apologize if I offend anyone. I also have a habit of writing LOOOOOOOONG posts. Again, my apologies.
JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
4/24/13 5:21 P

Agree with the post questioning what is "moderate exercise." To ME, moderate exercise is taking a walk for 30 minutes three times a week. That's not going to do much for someone's weight loss goals if that's already part of their lifestyle. As DeB mentioned, one has to first calculate what their base for maintenance is, and then exercise above and beyond will create a caloric deficit.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
4/24/13 3:49 P

Um, no, that's completely wrong.

The maths disputes you.

Say someone requires 1700 to maintain and is eating around 1800 on average. They're slowly gaining weight. They notice this and think "Hmm, what can I do about that?"

Instead of eating less, they remain on the same eating plan, but they do 200 calories worth of exercise daily.

Now instead of creating a 100 cal per day surplus, they're creating a 100 cal per day deficit, and they will start losing weight.

To claim exercise has no role at all is to misunderstand the entire weight loss equation.

Though it's true that overeating plus exercise won't help! If our hypothetical person was eating 2,000 a day and doing their 200 a day exercise, they'd still have a 100 cal per day surplus and still gain.

Deb, in New Zealand
BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,158)
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4/24/13 3:29 P

This is correct! You must combine exercise with dieting. If you eat too much you will not loose weight. All exercise will do is help you loose part of what you eat Overeating keeps you overweight and no amount of exercise will take away the fat.

Aerobic exercise helps to reduce your appetite.but it will not burn all you eat if you consume too much everyday. You must track your food and cut back on what you consume as well as get exercise.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
4/24/13 3:22 P

Well, food is the greater battle if you wish to lose weight. Look there first.

However, if someone maintains weight on, say, 1700 calories per day, and then starts including 250 calories per day of exercise, they are creating a 250 calorie per day deficit purely from the exercise, and would most likely lose a pound every two weeks.

Exercise add to the "calories burned" part of the pure calories burned - calories eaten formula for weight loss. So it helps.

The trouble is, some people think it's the be-all and end-all of weight loss. How many threads have you seen here like "what exercise should I do to lose weight" or "how many minutes exercise should I do to lose weight"? The weight loss is far more about the diet than the exercise, so we should not get caught up in focusing on the exercise, which is all this article probably means.

But it is part of the whole equation, yes.

Deb, in New Zealand
ERICADURR Posts: 241
4/24/13 3:04 P

I'd have to read it, but I'm wondering how they define "moderate" exercise. Does this mean 30 minutes, three times a week? Does it mean walking? Does it mean strength training? Maybe I'm just being super-analytical here, but I think that "moderate" can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.

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JGIRL5799 Posts: 561
4/24/13 2:33 P

Online Now  • ))
Michelle has said it all, and I totally agree about the weight loss starting in the kitchen..and that has been proven true with me as well...

I love and count the exercise to keep me lean and strong, but I don't count on it for weight loss.

Edited by: JGIRL5799 at: 4/24/2013 (14:34)

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MRSAND Posts: 1,290
4/24/13 2:29 P

exercise has been the key for me...but that's because I learned early in this process that I need to consume 1600 calories daily to be a happy to lose a pound a week I needed to burn about 500 a day with exercise...

4/24/13 2:00 P

A trainer that I had last summer told me that weight loss begins in the kitchen and your strength begins at the gym... that's what I've been living by this last year and it's definitely proven true for me. Both in tandum is the key! Get smaller and stronger by doing both together!

Remember... nothing tastes as good as thin feels! :)
DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
4/24/13 1:09 P

I certainly agree with the two other posters. Personally I do not exercise to lose weight. I exercise to maximize my oxygen, strenghten my heart, get a better nights sleep, reduce my stress and just make me feel better.
If the exercise can burn some of those silly calories my body needs to survive, I guess that is a nice side benefit.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,358)
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4/24/13 1:05 P

I think it helps a lot in that when you are doing substantial exercise in addition to cutting calories, it means you can eat more, and that helps your metabolism. There's also research that notes that people who include exercise in their weight loss efforts have much better success at keeping more of the weight off for longer than people who do not exercise. Maybe it's a marker of greater dedication, maybe the higher food allowance is better for long-term maintenance chances, maybe it's a coincidence, but the research is there.

I don't think that exercise on its own has ever lost me a single pound. It just doesn't make enough of a difference. Unless you're going hog wild nuts with it, it makes up only a small fraction of the calories you burn in a day, little enough that your body just absorbs the change and keeps on going. The vast majority of people are going to need to reduce calories significantly in order to lose any real weight.

However, for purposes of greater health, exercise is at least as important as weight loss. Probably more so. Improving cardiovascular and muscular fitness is so important. I think most doctors would probably advise an averagely overweight patient to exercise over cutting calories, if they could only do one or the other.

Height 5'8 1/2"
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4/24/13 12:54 P


So I wanted to share my opinion. Everything I ever read says that generally you need to burn more calories than you eat. So while exercise doesn't make you lose weight on its own, it does help you burn more calories than you eat.

I also agree with Coach Jen about the other benefits. My mom is going to be 83, she has trouble walking, gets tired, has a bad back, etc. Yes she has Arthritis, but she sits as much as she can. She was never really active and as she got older it got worse. She thinks everything over 1lb is too heavy, she can't carry anything, has not muscle tone. Meantime, my uncle is 90yo, he is constantly moving. He is active and runs around as fast as I do. He even was in a Kayak race last year (he won his age group because he was the only entry). Has he slowed down since he was 50, sure, but he is still in great shape.

So overall, I do think exercise helps with weight loss, not on its own, but the fact that it keeps you active. I also think that exercise keeps you young, which keeps you active, which in the end helps with keep weight off. Once you sit too much, you allow your body to lose muscle, which slows your metabolism, etc.

I don't dispute the article, just say there is so much more to it than what was probably in the article.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 59,356
4/24/13 12:18 P

It's true that the majority of your weight loss progress comes from what you eat, not exercise. But just because it's not a large contributor to weight loss doesn't mean exercise doesn't have a host of other benfits- reduced risk of certain diseases, a stronger heart, less stress, etc. So don't let the article discourage you :)

Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
JEN1492 Posts: 86
4/24/13 11:52 A

So I just read this article in Good Housekeeping that says moderate exercise does not help a person lose weight. The article said that it would help you become a little leaner but it actually didn't help people lose weight. I am not agreeing or disputing the article....I was just wondering what others thought about this....
So what do YOU think???? Does it help or not???

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