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Exercise Alone Isn't Enough to Lose Weight

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Nov 9, 2010

Exercising a few days a week does not guarantee weight loss, says the latest research. What sounds like frustrating news to those who are trying to lose weight -- and lose weight fast -- can actually help you.

What Exercise Can and Can't Do

The findings from The Mayo Clinic don't exactly tell you to stop sweating it out at the gym. They show that the exercise regimen in and of itself isn't as effective in losing weight as when it's combined with weight loss dietary changes.

"In theory, of course, it's possible that you can burn more calories than you eat," says Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health research at the Medical Research Council, and one of the government's go-to academics for advice on nutrition. "But you have to do an awful lot more exercise than most people realise. To burn off an extra 500 calories is typically an extra two hours of cycling. And that's about two doughnuts."

Next time you reach for that jelly doughnut, or chocolate cake, or extra large order of fries, think about how much time in the gym you will have to put in to shave off the fat.

One thing you need to look out for, though, is "compensation," or thinking you can give yourself permission to eat something bad because you had exercised. This can result in gaining back what weight you had lost.

The good news? You don't have to be in marathon-running shape to lose weight. In fact, the new research says that an intense workout at the gym can be less effective than gentle exercise. How so? Because moderate exercise, like walking, can help burn calories without a caloric compensation effect.

Source: Guardian News

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