JUL 01, 2016 10:44 AM PDT

Why Exercise is NOT the Way To Lose Weight

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

On some level, we intuitively know that calories in is much easier than calories out. That is, we can easily consume 400 calories worth of pizza in mere minutes, but to burn the same amount of calories would take hours of strenuous, focused exercise. But then, why is exercise at the forefront of all weight loss regimens? New scientific data say this is a fallacy and to stop emphasizing physical activity as a weight loss tool.

To be sure, the health benefits of exercise are tremendous - aside from not smoking, scientists deem exercise as the best thing you can do to be healthy. But there's a distinction between health benefits and weight loss, and exercise is not an effective way to lose weight.

Consider that we have three main ways to burn calories: resting metabolism, food breakdown, physical activity. Of this, exercise accounts for 10-30 percent of energy breakdown. Thus, while we control 100 percent of our calorie intake as food, we only have 30 percent control of the calories going out as exercise.

Of course it's not impossible to lose weight with exercise, but the new data say that we should reconsider emphasizing nutrition and diet over exercise when it comes to achieving weight loss goals. If 100 percent of our calorie intake is within our control, it makes sense that what we choose to eat plays far more importance on weight loss than exercise.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 23, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Implementing Illumina NGS is a lot easier than you think.
MAR 23, 2021
Implementing Illumina NGS is a lot easier than you think.
Dr. John-Sebastian Eden is a Virologist at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. His group u ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
MAY 29, 2021
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
Researchers have that there was four times more soot in the pre-industrial Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere than pre ...
JUN 04, 2021
Plants & Animals
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
JUN 04, 2021
What Elephant Trunks Teach Science about Suction
How an elephant picks up a tortilla chip could inspire next-generation suction technology.
JUL 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
JUL 09, 2021
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
Researchers have developed a "wearable" patch to detect the gaseous substances plants emit when diseased or stressed,
JUL 13, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Artificial Lighting Disrupts Pollinating Insects' Vision
JUL 13, 2021
Artificial Lighting Disrupts Pollinating Insects' Vision
Artificial lighting can affect the eyesight of moths that rely on night-time vision, such as the elephant hawkmoth. The ...
JUL 22, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Telescope Riding a Balloon Could Replace Hubble
JUL 22, 2021
Telescope Riding a Balloon Could Replace Hubble
The Earth's atmosphere often muffles views from ground-based telescopes when observing space. Now, a research c ...
Loading Comments...