The concept of people living with Obesity that they ‘eat more and move less’ is wrong, and a myth. Only a part of it is due to lifestyle, in fact, modern research says:
“Overeating does not cause Obesity, Obesity causes Overeating.”
The researchers have indicated that we need to ‘re-brand’ exercise because it is not a ‘weight-loss’ tool, but rather, a weight maintenance tool. Studies have shown that physical activity alone is less effective for weight loss than dietary changes alone.
Exercise and diet are important for weight loss, not exercise alone. But, exercise has other benefits, like:
- Reduce Cravings & Wanting
- Reduce Stress
- Improved Mood
- Improve Sleep
- Improve Energy Level
A Krispy Kream original glazed donut has ~ 200 calories; in order to burn that, a 30-min brisk walk is required. That is why exercise alone is not a good weight-loss tool. And, it is good news for the people living with chronic pain, who unfortunately gave up on losing weight because they think they are unable to exercise, and have put all the blame on exercise.
See the graph above, that shows that people who exercise for weight loss (black line on graph) and people who don’t do any exercise or interventions (i.e, control group red line on graph) lose only a small amount of weight (~2%) and their weight loss is about equal regardless of whether they are exercising or not. What we can take from this is that exercise AND diet/calorie restriction is important for weight loss, not exercise alone.
Keep in mind that the word ‘dieting’ is no longer used for weight loss in regards to calorie restriction. The correct medical terminology as per guidelines is Medical Nutritional Therapy (MNT)
So what is the best MNT that provides optimal results?
According to the meta-analysis done in 2014, it was concluded that ANY diet is better than NO diet at all. Studies have shown that all diets generally work for 6 months only and by the 12th month, weight gain starts again. Therefore, the Best Diet is one that you can stick to in the long run. At the end of the day, it is important you enjoy what you eat in order to achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss.