If you’d asked me a decade ago what was the best method of weight loss, if I choose only exercise or diet, but not both, I would have said exercise all day. That is, increase exercise, lean body mass, and so forth, to create a caloric deficit vs reducing calories if I could only choose one. That conclusion appears to have been wrong, and I’m here to explain why. On the surface, that appears to turn a sacred cow of the fitness world on its head, but in retrospect, I think we knew it all along. Hey, someone said “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” and that’s essentially true. Who ever said it, just didn’t realize just how true it is.
We all know those people who are consistent in the gym and actually do work hard at it, yet look essentially the same year after year in terms of their bodyfat levels, and it’s not until they really get their act together on the nutritional side, do they see real changes in body composition. End of the day, exercise, regardless of type, is not as important as once thought it as for weight loss. Will some use that as an excuse not to exercise? Sadly, yes. But those types are usually looking for excuses not to exercise anyway, so they’re not going to change in that respect. The rest of us realize regular exercise has so many benefits to general health, well-being, disease prevention, cardio vascular health, mood, anti-aging, how we look, and so forth, this news changes nothing.
Like it or not however, exercise, regardless of the type, is just not a major contributor to weight loss. Understandably, many in the fitness community have rejected that idea (I was one of them until the data became simply overwhelming) as it causes some cognitive dissonance, and or other reasons to reject it, such as a a perceived loss of revenue perhaps.
“Exercise is not a major contributor to weight loss? Madness!” they will say.