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(6,335 posts)
Thu Jun 30, 2016, 09:31 PM Jun 2016

Exercise doesn't really aid weight loss and sometimes makes it harder, science concludes [View all]

If you want to be healthy, you should exercise. But exercising probably isn't going to help you lose weight as much as you think it will.

This slap in the face of our long-held beliefs about health comes from medical science. Vox's Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina read through more than 50 studies on the topic and have summarized their research in a valuable report.

The core issue is that our "basal metabolic rate" -- the energy that keeps our bodies functioning when at rest -- "accounts for 60 to 80 percent of total energy expenditure."

Writes Vox:

That leaves only 10 to 30 percent for physical activity, of which exercise is only a subset.

The implication here is that while your food intake accounts for 100 percent of the energy that goes into your body, exercise only burns off 10 to 30 percent of it. That's a pretty big discrepancy, and definitely means that erasing all your dietary transgressions at the gym is a lot harder than the peddlers of gym memberships make it seem.

This problem is compounded by the fact that when you exercise more, you tend to eat more. So, in a way, exercising can lead you to gain weight.

For all the details about the science and what it means, check out Belluz and Zarracina's blog, Show Me the Evidence.

To be clear, none of this means you should forgo an exercise routine. Being physically active offers innumerable benefits, from preventing cancer to improving mood. It just might not be a huge help when it comes to weight loss.

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I lose weight when I'm stressed madville Jun 2016 #1
Might want to cut back on DU whistler162 Jul 2016 #50
I lose weight fast during prolonged periods of stress. NCTraveler Jul 2016 #59
Damn. Just my luck Bucky Jul 2016 #2
Less than 40 carbs a day solved my weight issue. nt Logical Jul 2016 #3
Thats the ticket workinclasszero Jul 2016 #18
Perfect description! Was never hungry! Nt Logical Jul 2016 #21
There is an entire generation of us EllieBC Jul 2016 #42
True, when the fat free craze happened people got heavier. Nt Logical Jul 2016 #66
They created a generation of carb junkies. EllieBC Jul 2016 #67
science concludes she's a WITCH! Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #4
Why does anyone listen to Vox? Nt B2G Jul 2016 #5
why? Gabi Hayes Jul 2016 #6
Here's a nice assortment it start you out. B2G Jul 2016 #7
Well, I'm stuck with this turd of a DU user name... VOX Jul 2016 #13
LMAO!! nt B2G Jul 2016 #58
Somehow, the name-change could have been worse... VOX Jul 2016 #70
I have a VOX amp bighart Jul 2016 #63
Same! They still have that bright "British Invasion" tone... VOX Jul 2016 #69
I have bighart Jul 2016 #72
It takes a lot of work to burn off a donut Major Nikon Jul 2016 #8
Standing in line for it one can burn it off sometimes. ErikJ Jul 2016 #9
I don't need science's opinion this melman Jul 2016 #10
I agree. Even when I walk half hr day, I drop lbs George Eliot Jul 2016 #44
Everyone is different... Avalon Sparks Jul 2016 #46
Not so much for me. adigal Jul 2016 #51
You can't really lose weight just with exercise gollygee Jul 2016 #11
I've been cutting back on portions and substituting fruit ErikJ Jul 2016 #12
True. And in the long run, exercise will cut the food cravings a bit... VOX Jul 2016 #15
hmmm what kind of pie Vox??? Silver_Witch Jul 2016 #34
Plus, the taller you are, the easier it is to lose weight.., VOX Jul 2016 #14
Calories in calories out. joshcryer Jul 2016 #16
True, but there's a bit more physics involved Major Nikon Jul 2016 #19
Dumping sugary drinks alone changes the equation. joshcryer Jul 2016 #25
I can't stand anything sweet in tea Major Nikon Jul 2016 #28
Same up here. EllieBC Jul 2016 #41
I don't mind unsweetened tea. joshcryer Jul 2016 #56
On my diet, I drink water and flavored seltzers adigal Jul 2016 #52
Great news! joshcryer Jul 2016 #57
Nope! What you eat matters! Nt Logical Jul 2016 #22
Yes, and you will feel terrible... joshcryer Jul 2016 #26
That's been debunked so many times... Avalon Sparks Jul 2016 #47
I addressed sugars though, in the other post. joshcryer Jul 2016 #55
I think lots of people that work out in a gym or run workinclasszero Jul 2016 #17
i don't think people realize how many calories are in these "fancy" drinks JI7 Jul 2016 #24
One simple truth.... Wounded Bear Jul 2016 #20
Exactly right. I am a marathon runner. Still In Wisconsin Jul 2016 #29
it's always been about food. i think the key is to be more physically active rather than "exercise" JI7 Jul 2016 #23
Yep. It's refined carbohydrates. Still In Wisconsin Jul 2016 #30
It does help, but cardio is the only thing that exercises your heart Major Nikon Jul 2016 #31
how about things like just walking more throughout the day ? JI7 Jul 2016 #33
Cardio requires an elevated heart rate Major Nikon Jul 2016 #35
While this is basically true, all he's really saying is, frankieallen Jul 2016 #27
I got blocked by a TV celebrity on Twitter for telling him he was looking fatter ErikJ Jul 2016 #74
It's more complicated than that. Vattel Jul 2016 #32
It's possible to turn the whole idea upside down Major Nikon Jul 2016 #38
You can't out train a bad diet mythology Jul 2016 #36
Idiots. Morons posting moron "science" flvegan Jul 2016 #37
Sure Major Nikon Jul 2016 #39
Explain, to the fullest, what you just responded with. flvegan Jul 2016 #40
I responded with two peer reviewed studies published in respectable medical journals Major Nikon Jul 2016 #45
I just stretch MFM008 Jul 2016 #43
Twenty extra pounds of muscle will always look better than any extra ten pounds of fat nolabels Jul 2016 #48
Depends on the exercise that you're doing. Yavin4 Jul 2016 #49
raise your metabolic rate by building muscle eShirl Jul 2016 #53
Exactly. This study the OP cites is just something to help lazy people feel better. cwydro Jul 2016 #54
It's not just one study Major Nikon Jul 2016 #62
Of course diet is of the utmost importance too. cwydro Jul 2016 #68
As far as overall health goes, exercise is at least as important Major Nikon Jul 2016 #71
Cardio for youth and health, but low carb for weight loss. Period. lindysalsagal Jul 2016 #60
Honestly - anything that encourages people to spend more time bullwinkle428 Jul 2016 #61
What a ridiculous headline Act_of_Reparation Jul 2016 #64
It's because people way overestimate calories burned, partially due to GROSS calories burned calcula MillennialDem Jul 2016 #65
But the article says exercise only burns 10-30% of calories consumed ErikJ Jul 2016 #73
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