I’m sure a lot of overweight individuals would like to know whether exercising alone or dieting alone is more effective for weight loss. After all, doing just one thing is easier than doing two, right? Here are the advantages of exercising alone and dieting alone — as well as their respective drawbacks in losing weight.
Let’s start with a study published by the Public Library of Science. In the study, 464 overweight women were divided into four groups. The first group exercised for 72 minutes a week, the second for 136 minutes, and the third for 194 minutes a week. The fourth group were asked to maintain their usual activity levels. (All women were asked not to change their diets — just to write down the things they ate.)
The results were surprising — many lost weight, but the differences between the groups were so small it could almost be negligible. What’s more, many women actually GAINED weight!
So does this mean dieting alone is the better way to lose weight?
It would seem so — other studies suggest that people who only diet lose more weight than those who only exercise. But the research is pretty clear on one point — you’ll lose even more weight when you combine dieting and exercise.
So don’t ignore exercise — while it may not be the best way to lose weight, it’s still the best way to keep your muscles toned, your organs healthy, and your immune system performing at its peak. People who work out more often are less susceptible to disease, especially the life-threatening kinds.