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
NOV 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 01, 2018
Oil Absorbing Sponge Made from Wood
  It has been eight years since the crude oil spill in the Mexico Gulf, but the shadow of aquatic petroleum contamination has never been far away. To...
NOV 06, 2018
Videos
NOV 06, 2018
Towards a Universal Flu Vaccine
Researchers have to design a new flu vaccine every year. But there are efforts to create a vaccine that works against all strains....
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
What If Earth Spun the Other Way?
If once upon a time the Earth spun the other way—the seasons wouldn’t change because of the Earths tilt. But, what would change is the climate ...
NOV 25, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 25, 2018
Why Does E. Coli Make us Sick?
  Escherichia coli, or E. coli refer to a diverse group of of bacteria commonly found in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals. While E. coli ga...
NOV 28, 2018
Videos
NOV 28, 2018
What critics think about the first gene-edited babies
Chinese scientist He Jiankui took advantage of the International Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong to publicize the results of his Crispr-Cas9 trial...
DEC 03, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 03, 2018
Why Do Some Men Have Trouble Growing Beards?
There are two types of men in this world: those that can grow robust beards, and those that can’t. But why is it that some men get stuck with patchy,...
Loading Comments...