View Full Version : Diet and exercise best? Article

03-14-2007, 06:14 AM
A friend of mine and I often argue as to what is the best way to lose weight. He sent me this article today. Opinions?

Diet and exercise best?
February 22, 2007 - 12:42PM

From the Sydney Morning Herald
A new study debunks the widely held belief that diet plus exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. Researchers report that dieting alone is just as effective as dieting plus exercise.

"For weight loss to occur, an individual needs to maintain a difference between the number of calories they consume everyday and the number of calories they burn through metabolism and physical activity," Dr. Leanne Redman of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said.

"What we found was that it did not matter whether a reduction in calories was achieved through diet or burned everyday through exercise."

Thirty-five overweight but otherwise healthy adults -- 16 men and 19 women -- completed the six-month study. Twelve were assigned to a diet-only group; they reduced their calorie intake by 25 percent.

Twelve were assigned to diet plus exercise; they reduced their calorie intake by 12.5 percent and increased their exercise by 12.5 percent. The remaining 11 subjects made no significant diet or exercise changes.

Redman and colleagues found that the diet-only group and the diet plus exercise group lost roughly the same amount of weight, albeit by different means.

They lost about 10 percent of their body weight, 24 percent of their fat mass and 27 percent of their abdominal "visceral" fat -- the deep internal fat linked to heart disease risk.

Therefore, if the goal is purely shedding pounds, diet or exercise will work, according to this study. However, as the researchers point out, regular exercise can improve aerobic fitness and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

The study also found that exercise did little to tone specific areas of the body. Fat was reduced consistently across the whole body and not more in any one trouble spot.

"Our study then would indicate that weight loss cannot override the way in which any individual stores fat. Perhaps an apple will always be an apple, and a pear, a pear," Redman concludes.

This suggests that people are "genetically programmed for fat storage in a particular pattern and that this programming cannot be easily overcome by weight loss," the authors note in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

03-14-2007, 06:50 AM
Im surprised that they didnt have another group that only increased exercise.

03-14-2007, 11:01 AM
Yes, I believe the article is stating true facts of weight loss. I think the last couple of sentences is a bit 'iffy' though. I also think the results of this study would only be consistent for a short term study, as the muscle gained through exercise, if given a substantial time to develop would increase the individual's caloric deficit bracket, and therefore increase the ability of weight loss as seen in body builders. We would also assume that the exercise group would maintain the majority of their existing muscle mass if the exercise, nutrient balance and sleeping patterns were sufficient, and the control group of non-exercising dieters would lose their muscle mass regardless.

To summarise: Don't cut your calories without a proper exercise plan or you'll be a less than attractive stick figure with no tone!

Mr. D
03-14-2007, 11:02 AM
Weight loss vs Fat loss are two different animals.

Weight loss = skinny fat
Fat loss = lean

03-14-2007, 11:29 AM
skinny fat
Yeah, sure, skinny fat. I know what you mean.

03-14-2007, 11:34 AM
The bart simpson physique. Many of my friends have it (stick arms and legs, big ass beer belly).

03-14-2007, 08:40 PM
Wouldn't a sudden change in diet for both groups create a significant amount of weight loss anyways, since they are noobs. Wouldn't the exercise group then have 'noobie gains' actually increasing their LBM (If even by a little) making it look as though they have lost an equal amount of weight but have actually lowered their bf% more compared to the diet only group?