Exercise Doesn't (Necessarily) Make You Lose Weight

Good news if you hate the gym, bad news if you’ve invested your time, money, and faith in the body-shaping power of daily workouts: despite what most people think, there still isn’t overwhelming evidence that exercise will reduce weight. Over the past several decades, research continues to show that exercise will definitely increase your body’s energy needs but not always reduce fat, and that a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are linked but not in a proven cause-and-effect relationship. Meanwhile, the popular press has promoted and mythologized a sort of “faith-based” concept of exercise as a key requirement for weight loss.

When the Finnish investigators looked at the results of the dozen best-constructed experimental trials that addressed weight maintenance–that is, successful dieters who were trying to keep off the pounds they had shed–they found that everyone regains weight. And depending on the type of trial, exercise would either decrease the rate of that gain (by 3.2 ounces per month) or increase its rate (by 1.8 ounces).

This is why official guidelines are so weirdly neutral on the subject, saying regular exercise will “promote and maintain health,” for example, or that you should exercise to “avoid unhealthy weight gain.”

The one thing that might be said about exercise with certainty is that it tends to makes us hungry. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. Burn more calories and the odds are very good that we’ll consume more as well. And this simple fact alone might explain both the scientific evidence and a nation’s worth of sorely disappointing anecdotal experience.

“The Scientist and the Stairmaster” [New York Magazine via Metafilter]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. E-Bell says:

    I don’t need a study to tell me that if I eat less and exercise more, I’ll lose weight.

  2. louisb3 says:

    @E-Bell: You missed the point, didn’t you?

  3. stinerman says:

    Weight loss is a simple matter of thermodynamics. If you use up more energy than you put in your body, you will lose weight. If the opposite, you will gain weight.

    Of course, there are ways to make your body increase its energy output and the like without exercise. Eating several small meals a day helps increase your metabolism. Exercise does as well.
    As the article says, if you increase your activity and increase your diet in kind, you won’t lose as much weight.

  4. Ben Popken says:

    The one thing that might be said about exercise with certainty is that it tends to makes us hungry.

    Unless of course you use the Shangrila diet. Like me. I’ve lost 20+ lbs so far, with a combination of exercising more and eating less, and I don’t go hungry.

  5. Mary says:

    Oh hey, what have people in the fat acceptance movement been saying? That the science and medical facts weren’t backing up the idea that exercising makes you skinny? That they lived active lifestyles but were still considered fat? That it’s never been a matter of just “going to the gym.”

    It’s weird to be proven right.

  6. Ben Popken says:

    Ok I read some of the article and it appears the crux is that exercise makes us hungrier, therefore we eat more and don’t necessarily lose weight. I don’t see how this contradicts the “burn more, eat less,” philosophy. You have to expend more calories AND consume less calories to achieve good weight loss results.

    Lastly, NYmag is a rag.

  7. jnrmrtn says:

    This is dead on. I’ve lost 90lbs. in the last 6 months with hardly any exercise. It’s been essentially diet (eating less and less often) with no reduction in ass to couch time at all. Perhaps a little time in the gym might have helped but averaging 15lbs a month who cares?

  8. MercuryPDX says:

    @Ben Popken: Can we get a follow-up article with before and after pics? ;)

    This really isn’t news. It’s long been established that exercise alone won’t do it.

    Jogging 10 miles a day doesn’t magically erase the fast food you eat for lunch and/or dinner every day.

    You need a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle change to lose the weight and keep it off.

  9. skittlbrau says:

    I, to a certain extent, agree.

    I think most people have a size they’re supposed to be at, and you likely can’t exercise yourself much smaller than that. But being a lazy bum and eating chips on the couch will likely make you grow bigger than your size.

    And regardless of weight, it’s probably better to be slightly overweight and fit than very thin and out of shape.

  10. Ben Popken says:

    @MercuryPDX: Sure, maybe after I lose 20 more lbs.

  11. AdmiralNelson says:

    Is this weight or fat? The article mentions weight while the writeup makes mention of fat.
    Exercise may not yield weight loss in some people simply because they are gaining muscle: Muscle weighs more than fat.

  12. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    This is all a case of people trying to sell some sort of a diet plan to people who are (for the most part) looking for a magic pill that allows them to lose weight, do nothing and not address their lifestyle issues, which are the real problem.

    If you expend more calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

    If you exercise, you will burn additional calories. Adding any lean muscle tissue to your body will increase your resting metabolic rate (i.e. “speed up your metabolism).

    If you do nto exercise, burning more calories than you take in will eventually slow your metabolism to a degree. But hey, GOD FORBID AMERICANS GET UP AND MOVE AROUND A LITTLE BIT!

    Why do a very large majority of people who lose weight gain it back? Because it is an issue of more than “dieting to lose weight.” It is an issue of altering a sedentary lifestyle that is combined with fast food, junk food and a belief that getting a Diet Coke at McDonalds is somehow a more healthy choice.

    Moderation in all things.

    Thats what this country has forgotten.

  13. iMike says:

    So to lose weight we should lie in bed and be fed a controlled diet, removing the appetite stimulating effect of exercise? I don’t buy that.

  14. FLConsumer says:

    @baa: People’s bodies do have set-points, but many in America are overriding these by consuming more than they burn.

    Look at it this way, 1 gram of fat = 9 stored calories.

    The average overweight (not obese) person eats ~25 extra calories than they need per day. Sure, doesn’t sound like a lot..but it adds up.

    25 * 365 days = 9,125 calories / 9 = 1014 grams = 2.24 lbs. Per year.

    Since research shows this often begins during childhood (let’s stay with about age 10), that means by age 20 they’ll be 22.4 lbs heavier than they should be, by 30, they’ll be 45 lbs heavier. From looking around at the shopping malls in Tampa, this does appear to be valid. Keep in mind this is just for “overweight”, not “obese” individuals, although research seems to indicate a similar mechanism, just a higher number of “extra” calories. If someone consumes 50 extra calories per day, that works out to 93.6 extra lbs after 20 years.

    100 calories isn’t all that much when you consider how much fat is in most chain restaurant meals. When there’s dishes at Ruby Tuesdays, etc., that have 1,000+ calories in them, it’d be difficult to avoid not picking up more calories than you’d burn that day, unless you were willing to make that your only meal for the day AND drink water with the meal.

  15. Myron says:

    I find that whenever I lose weight I’m constantly hungry until I gain it back. The body fights very hard to maintain its current weight. It’s almost impossible to overcome.

  16. skittlbrau says:

    @FLConsumer: I agree – Americans eat too damned much and should be mindful of what they eat. I’m just saying that it’s unlikely that people who are meant to be a size 8 are going to be able to diet themselves down to a 2 without adverse health consequences.

    And exercise is good for everyone. I know some skinny folks who can barely make it up to my fourth floor walkup…

  17. oneswellfoop says:

    Keep in mind that you need to do the right kind of exercise. Cardio really burns calories, once, and then you have to do it again and again if you want to keep it off.
    On the other hand, if you gain a pound of muscle and then sit on your butt all day, you burn 50 more calories on that day of sitting on your butt then you did before you gained the pound of muscle.
    While I don’t disagree with the assertion that not everyone who exercises looses weight, I will say that the sort of people dedicated enough to get out there and actually exercise daily/every other day are the sort that are motivated enough to not be the slobbering, obese, coca-cola drinking lardy ones we see so much of slouching about the streets and and being unpleasant to sit next to on the plane.
    May I recommend “The Abs Diet”, by David Zinczenko, which is less of an actual diet than a way to eat six times a day while exercising. And for most people, to loose weight. A buddy of mine who is a personal trainer turned me on to this book. In his words(which I totally agree with) this book shouldn’t be called “The Abs Diet” it should be called “The Way People Should Eat”.

  18. hypnotik_jello says:

    too bad exercise and physical fitness is not really about losing weight. It’s about keeping your body, especially your cadiovascular system healthy.

    I’m a software developer who used to weigh about 140lb. Over the course of the year with a rigourous fitness program (to get in shape for my month long Nepal trekking trip) , including running and lifting weights, I actually weight 148lb now. Almost all of it is muscle. My resting heart rate is pretty low, and my endurance is up.

    The bottom line is that exercising for the sole purpose of weightloss is self defeating imho.

  19. kimsama says:

    Weird, I personally only exercise (can’t diet for crap) and have been my ideal weight for 10 years now (ever since starting exercising, when I lost all my extra weight in one year). But to each (metabolism) his own.

  20. Saboth says:

    As a kinesiology major, I see several problems with this argument. They use “weight” and “fat” interchangeably. Muscle weighs *much* more than fat. A lot of times people begin exercising and put ON weight. They might lose a % of body fat, but they increased their muscle, say…2-3 lbs. Very common. It is pretty much understood if you take in less calories than you use over a period of time, you will lose fat (depending on a lot of factors). My advice: ignore the scales completely and go by body fat measurements or simply by how tight your pants are fitting. If you weigh more, but look good and your gut shrinks…who cares what you weigh?

  21. WalkTheLine says:

    The only way to lose weight is by burning more calories than you consume on a consistent basis. While exercise is not the only factor in weight loss, it is still an important tool in your arsenal. Besides the obvious benefit of burning unwanted calories, it has other positive effects on your body (such as a stronger heart).

    I know this because 3 years ago I shed 25 pounds through a combination of diet, exercise and calorie counting. Though I’m not as rigorous as I once was with my program, I have not gained the weight back (because I still regulate my caloric intake).

  22. full.tang.halo says:

    @oneswellfoop: Good to see someone else that has “The Abs Diet” book, also if you eat protein vs fat it takes 20% more energy to convert the protein vs the fat so it’s like getting a calorie rebate on the food you eat.

  23. TedOnion says:

    @Myron: I’m sorry that you struggle with weight loss and keep putting the pounds back on. Remember that when you loose weight, the fat cells in your body don’t go away for a very long time and will grab onto any extra calories you take in. People who have never been overweight don’t gain as fast as those who have.

    This is where lifestyle change comes in. Remember your fruits and vegetables, they are filling and low calorie. Diet changes have to be permanent so make sure whatever you decide is something you can live with. Don’t give up! Not everyone can be thin, but no one has to be obese.

  24. matt1978 says:

    Gary Taubes makes me want to scream. Why doesn’t he just write an article that simply reads “HEY FATTIES: DON’T SWEAT IT” and be done with it.

    That’s all the media pulls from it anyway.

  25. crispykickz says:

    @SABOTH: How much does 1 lbs. of fat weigh? How much does 1 lbs. of muscle weigh? I think what you are getting at is the fact that muscle is denser than fat. So that if a person who weighs 100 lbs and is comprised entirely of fat, would be flubby, vs. someone that is 100 lbs comprised entirely of muscle would be tighter, and not flubby because of the density of the material. People who intially gain a few pounds can be attributed to the fact that you can “fit” more muscle in the space that was previously fat. I agree that you can’t use the term weight and fat interchangably because fat is only a portion of a person’s total weight.

  26. @Ben Popken: <– Can we ban this commenter, Ben? Oh, wait…

  27. dubitable says:

    This post makes me angry. I can only imagine that this will fuel more confusion about health in this country.

    Here’s a fact: weight is not always a good indicator of overall health or attractiveness. Let it go people. Throw it away. Hypnotik_Jello mentioned this as well; he or she started exercising and actually gained weight, but Hypnotik_Jello’s heart rate is lower, endurance is higher, and I’m willing to bet he or she can fit into a smaller pants size as well. I bet Hypnotik_Jello’s confidence is up as well.

    Following along with that idea, here’s another fact: exercise contributes to your overall good health. So, exercise makes you hungrier, and maybe you’ll gain weight? First of all, some of that weight gain may be muscle, not fat, and secondly, while you might gain some fat or stay the same (maybe!) at the same time your resting heart rate will be lower and you will have great overall health.

    WHAT you eat and WHEN you eat is also important: if you want to lose FAT (note that this is a different goal than losing overall WEIGHT, which is often a useless and self-defeating goal), then it’s not about necessarily eating less (although it might be, depending on your habits) but about eating more frequent, small meals composed of complex carbohydrates and lean protein, with some essential fats thrown in ta boot. This will speed up your metabolism and keep you balanced. Combine this with exercise and you WILL lose fat, get healthier, look hotter, and feel better about yourself. And if you can modify your overall diet–give your self small changes here and there, but allow yourself to slip once in a while without beating yourself up over it, or falling back into the same patterns–then you are more likely to retain the new eating behaviors for the rest of your life, and not get into the diet “bounce-back” that so many experience. Those extreme diets are pretty stupid, generally speaking, anyways. Stop eating junk food and don’t drink your calories and you’ll get a big boost right there.

    This isn’t rocket science folks. It doesn’t have to be painfully difficult, but any change takes effort.

    But please, Consumerist, stop with the spectacular posts which do nothing but confuse people and justify unhealthy habits. Exercise is good. Everyone who can exercise should. It’s better for us as a nation and as individuals. Don’t dissuade people from exercise.

  28. mandarin says:

    Thats a good excuse for being obese..

    Sitting around and doing nothing doesnt help either…

  29. dubitable says:

    @Saboth: Yes. Thank you.

  30. FLConsumer says:

    @Myron: Willpower… it’s a bitch, isn’t it? Trust me, if 1,000’s of anorexics can learn to deny their body’s cries for food, fat people can too, just hopefully in a more healthy way than the skinnies do.

    @baa: Oh, there’s definitely not a 100% skinny = healthy link. Sumo wrestlers and many weightlifters are well into the “obese” BMI categories, yet I’d be hard-pressed to call them unhealthy. At the same time, those people live healthy lifestyles and eat healthy food. Their bodies ARE healthy, which is a huge difference from the normal overweight American. BIG difference between packing an extra 20 lbs of muscle on vs. 20 lbs of fat.

    @Myron: The trick to dieting and losing weight is to do everything gradually. That weight didn’t get there overnight and it’s not going to leave that quickly either. If you lose weight too fast, the body will go into “famine” mode and try to capture every last calorie it can. If it still thinks food is plentiful, it’ll gladly let the calories pass by. If you can cut out just one small thing from your intake each day (something as simple as switching from regular soda to diet or (better) water), the weight will come off on its own over time.

  31. ancientsociety says:

    Exercising isn’t just about losing weight, but keeping your body in shape and improving your general health and endurance. The very fact that exercising in this article is viewed simply as a method for “losing weight” shows just how superficial and vapid it is.

    You can be skinny and still be unfit.

  32. neithernor says:

    Slightly OT, but I appreciate the attempt to use a neat, unconventional picture for this post instead of the classic “Fat American Photographed From Behind Without His Consent.”

  33. full.tang.halo says:

    @FLConsumer: Another key in losing weight gradually is that you give your body and more visually you skin a chance to adjust from the fat loss. Watch the health channel sometime and see how people that have gastro bypass end up having flabs of skin from the rapid weight loss. But in their case the health benefits are paramount to looks. Flabby alive is better than fat dead any day.

  34. Techguy1138 says:

    This article is a bit of pseudo science.

    They never make the differentiation between weight and body fat percentage.

    You gain weight from physical activity but, it’s muscle. That is what you are building with those extra calories. A guy with a ripped 6 pack will be heavier than a guy with a slight beer gut and be thinner.

    The article makes the link between a myriad of concepts activity to hunger, hunger to eating, eating to carbs, carbs to insulin. The link is never made to lean, muscle weight, and non-lean weight.

    There has been made a link to fat and insulin resistance. The more body fat you have the higher your insulin resistance, thus the easier you get fat. Thus people with high body fat get fatter easier than those with more lean mass. This is why your skinny friend eats more than you and gains less weight.

    This supports the assertion made in the article that active people ‘just gain less weight’.

    Anything that helps change the body ratio of lean vs fatty mass helps you gain weight more slowly.
    The way to do that besides hormones,anabolic steroid, is exercise.

    Starvation, calorie deficit, can change the balance but the body will also consume it’s lean mass for energy. Since it is actually easier to convert the lean tissue to energy than the fat tissue you can wind up with an inequitable rate of loss. You still loose weight but it is also still pretty easy to gain it back.

    Eating less is the key to loosing weight, if you are over weight, but exercise is key for changing your body composition to gain fat more slowly. This was directly supported by the article but, glossed over. Since the active participants in the experiments were still gaining weight.

    Exercise may make you more hungry but, if you exercise vigorously you still will build a calorie deficit. In addition you will change your body composition to a higher ratio of lean vs fatty mass changing your rate of insulin resistance and your base metabolism.

    I’m not very Finnish; When I run 3 miles a day a few times a week I loose weight. In my test group there is a 100% correlation between exercise, fat loss, lean mass gain and weight loss.

    There you go my very own pseudo-science article to rebut a pseudo-science article.

  35. wishlish says:

    In January, I weighed 320 lbs. I had a painful hip condition that kept me housebound for months. I had to undergo two painful hip procedures to ease the condition. My doctor told me to get serious about losing weight- every pound I took off would take 3 pounds of pressure off the joint, which would minimize further problems.

    After one diet fizzled, I started the South Beach diet. I also took a job in NYC which requires me to walk a bit to work. I’m down to 270 lbs. I’d love to join a gym, but the five hour commute makes that very difficult for now. As it is, I’m still losing weight, and I’m not having the cravings for “bad” food.

    I’ve heard different things about exercise and weight loss. I’ve heard that since muscle weight is “heavier” that fat weight, I should avoid adding significant muscle. I’ve also been told that working out would increase my body’s metabolism, and thus cause me to lose weight. I gave up trying to do what others are doing. This is working for me now, and I’m happy with how I look AND what I’m eating.

  36. UpsetPanda says:

    I think a bit of common sense may help here…I exercise, I get hungry. I eat junk food, I feel bad. I eat healthier food, I don’t feel bad. I know there is a benefit, even if I can’t see it immediately. The problem is, a lot of people want immediate gratification, hence quick-dieting and exercise freaks who go to the gym every single day for 2 hours and then lift weights when they go home.

  37. oldtaku says:

    Exercising regularly (this is key), like every other day at least, should cut your appetite if you’re eating far too much. I’ve seen this happen so many times. The overweight person doesn’t even have to try to cut down on eating, it just happens naturally because they’re not so hungry. For someone slightly overweight not so much.

    However, acknowledging that this is correct (exercising doesn’t guaranteee weight loss), numerous studies have shown that it’s better to be a bit overweight but fit than to be a skinny guy who gets no exercise at all. It’s still good for you even if you don’t lose weight.

  38. ElizabethD says:

    @Ben Popken:

    Ben: Congrats on the weight loss. PLEASE report back to us in two years. I hope you are the exception to the prevailing experience, which is that those pounds do find their way back on, and then some.

  39. endicottroad says:

    My doctor put me on a diet of 1,200 calories a day, and I started doing moderate, regular exercise. I am on a treadmill 4-5 days a week, 10 minutes at a time, going about 1.8 mph, based on the readout on the treadmill. I travel about a quarter of a mile each time.
    I’ve lost 25+ pounds in about 6 months, and have gone from 40+ waist size to 38.
    Exercise alone might not work, but diet + exercise = weight loss. I’m living proof.

  40. Techguy1138 says:

    @Myron:

    What you said is very true. Your body is very good at maintaining it self. You take in million of calories yet over time you also expend million of calories. Even if you are grossly over weight realize that 100lbs of extra weight = 360,000 calories. If it took you 5 years to get that over weight you only over ate by a few hundred calories a day. It’s pretty remarkable.

    That doesn’t mean that you are doomed to always being over weight. It does mean that it will take time for your body to adjust downwards as well.

    If you just can’t yourself to commit to daily or weekly excercise, try making small changes in diet. Something you can easily stick to at first it may simply be seeing how many calories you eat typically and limiting your self to that. Then slowly reduce it. Say 50 by 50 -100 calories. That is about 1/2 of a can of Coke a day. You can also increase your activity instead say you add 15 minutes of vigorous walking a day.

    Make sure that it is something you can measure and stick to. Just the same as advice for budgeting you get here. As you adjust to minding what you eat slowly take more calories out of your diet and add more activity, taking the stairs or extra walking.

    By taking 100 calories out of your diet a day you will loose near 100 lbs in 10 years. Even if it’s only 50 lbs 100 calories isn’t a lot to loose if you already eat quite a bit (2200 calories + a day)

    It’s by no means easy but it doesn’t have to be to hard either.

    One important thing. Try to be happy with yourself and your body. You can still improve it and be happy with what you have. Almost everyone struggles with body image in someway. Like what you have but strive for better.

  41. madanthony says:

    The first quote in the article isn’t about weight loss – it’s about weight maintenance AFTER weight loss. And it seems to be inconclusive.

    I’m a big believer in exercise based on personal experience – I was the fat kid for most of my life. A few years ago I took one of those “how long do you have to live” internet tests and it said I was going to be in the grave at age 48. Decided I didn’t want to die that young, and started watching what I ate and started exercising.

    That was about 3.5 years ago, and in that time I lost about 100 pounds and 10 inches, and I’ve managed to keep it off. I still try to make some effort to watch what I eat, but I slip a lot. However, I also try to get to the gym and do an hour and a half of cardio pretty much every day. So far I’ve been able to maintain my weight within about a 5 pound range, and I credit the exercise. I’ve tried losing weight a ton of times before this, but never really exercised – and always gained it back.

    I still could probably lose a couple pounds – I’m right at the top of the “normal” scale on the government CDC lists of where I should be – but I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been.

  42. 1,000’s of anorexics can learn to deny their body’s cries for food…

    @FLConsumer: The key to not being hungry is to develop a mental disorder? Um, how about no.

  43. andrewsmash says:

    This story discounts the whole skinny ‘fat guy’ aspect. People who weigh very little but have the body-mass index (percentage of weight that is body fat) of an obese person. Basically, they have just as high a risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes as the obese, but don’t look like it. The best indicators for health are blood pressure, resting heart rate, lung capacity – things which show how well your body works, not just how much space it takes up, or how much force gravity exerts on it. This is just another pseudo-study to make people buy weight loss pills and indulge in fad diets.

  44. SOhp101 says:

    The reason why America stays so fat is because they don’t understand diet and fitness. It’s not about how skinny you are–it’s about how healthy you are. There is such thing as skinny ‘fat’ people (people who look thin but actually have high risk for heart disease, stroke, etc.).

    Don’t get so affixed on a number and instead start trying to look at the big picture. You’ll end up a lot happier, too.

  45. tschepsit says:

    @MissJ: You hit it on the head – your exercise is more productive and feels better if fueled by healthier food. Personally, I eat till I’m stuffed pretty much all day long, but still have a hard time keeping the weight on because I run a lot. If I were eating crappier food, I’d feel worse when I run and I’d end up cutting my workouts short.

  46. amoeba says:

    @SOhp101: I agree with you 100%
    To add, I have been working out at my local gym for over 5 years. I can tell you that not always I loose weight but I maintain what I have. I keep my body in shape and my muscles tight. You need to have a balance between food and physical exercise. If you add muscle bulk while you are working out, that’s other story. Body builders eat a lot for that reason.

  47. FLConsumer says:

    @full.tang.halo: Oh, trust me… if I could ban gastric bypass surgeries, I would. It’s one of the more dangerous procedures out there and for all practical purposes turns an obese person into an anorexic by virtue of not being able to ingest a proper amount of food. All sorts of nasty malnutrition symptoms & complications arise from it. All of this is often done without addressing the underlying issues (physical & emotional) that got the person obese to begin with.

    @Rectilinear Propagation: All I’m saying is that people CAN learn to ignore the feeling of being hungry and to eat less. Sure, I chose an extreme example, but it’s not much different than delayed gratification anywhere else in life. And it’s quite obvious that average Americans aren’t willing to have delayed gratification in any part of their life.

  48. Bunnymuffin says:

    There is too much “loose” weight all over this thread. Loose weight is jiggly and gets all over the place. Let’s just lose it and be done with it. :)

  49. Chicago7 says:

    I eat like a pig: Pizza three times a week, McDonalds, Chinese, etc.

    But I work out 4 times a week – serious, long workouts including weights and running.

    I don’t gain weight.

  50. olegna says:

    Ditto on thermodynamics. This is dumb speculation. Burn & reduce calorie intake: lose weight.

    What exercise will not automatically do is build muscle. Or what exercise can do is give you negligible weight loss. Bicyclists may have lithe bodies but they aren’t beefy. Skinny people that bulk up on muscle through a regime of weightlifting will gain weight.

    Losing fat while gaining muscle can give you neutral weight loss (or even cause you to gain weight) because you’re displacing fat with muscle.

    But here’s the thing: the obesity problem in Ameirca is not due to a bunch of rail-thin people lifting weights and gaining muscle weight; it’s due to a bunch of fat Cheetos-munching slobs not exercising.

  51. Melsky says:

    This article is directly contrary to my experience. I have gone from a size 20-22 to a size 14-16 mostly from exercise. I stopped sitting around my house and eating too much, now I lift weights and take long walks but I still eat pretty much what I want.

    And I’m a lot stronger and I have better posture, endurance and flexibility too.

  52. peggynature says:

    …which is why maybe people should worry less about the size of their ass, and more about other health indicators (ie blood pressure, serum lipids, glucose tolerance, etc etc etc etc infinity forever) that actually *prove* something about your health. Which is to say, you should exercise because it’s enjoyable and good for you. Not because it will make you thin.

  53. peggynature says:

    And, for all you ‘simple thermodynamics’ buffs out there, where on earth did you read that the body functions like a bomb calorimeter? Because it does not. Nothing in biology is that simple.