We've all heard the phrase "Eat less, move more" but does it have any scientific basis? Well a recent study published by Kevin Hall, a senior investigator at the US National Institute of Health states: "We need to re-brand exercise. Exercise isn't a weight-loss tool per-se; it's excellent for health, it's probably the best single thing that you can do other than stopping smoking to improve your health, but don't look at it as a weight-loss tool."
The reason that exercise is not solely responsible for weight loss is due to the fact that the amount of calories that you burn in a workout you will probably eat in your next snack. For example, an hours worth of cycling is roughly the equivalent to two jam donuts (500 Kcals). That's a lot of hard work for five minutes of enjoyment! But before you cancel your personal trainer and gym membership, let's not forget that exercise is extremely important to ensuring a long, healthy and active life.
This means that your diet may actually be more important than exercise if you're looking to lose weight. A study from earlier this year concluded ''that physical activity did have a weak influence on the amount of calories burnt... but only up to a certain point. What that means is that people with moderate activity levels did indeed burn around 200 calories more than the most sedentary people. But anyone who exercised beyond moderate activity levels didn't see any extra benefits in terms of calories burnt." Therefore even if you complete several HIIT session per week, but your diet is high in calories and low in nutritional value, you are less likely to achieve your weight loss goals.
In conclusion, the evidence suggests that exercise is fantastic for a healthy, balanced life, but if you want to lose weight successfully you really need to watch what foods you're including in your daily diet. The old saying "You can't out-train a bad diet" appears to ring true in this case.
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