Study reveals why exercise alone may not lead to weight loss
Exercise alone likely isn't enough for those looking to lose weight because the human body adapts to increased activity and stops burning as many calories, according to a study recently published in the journal Current Biology.
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Herman Pontzer of the City University of New York, one of the co-authors of the study, notes, "Exercise is really important for your health. That's the first thing I mention to anyone asking about the implications of this work for exercise. There is tons of evidence that exercise is important for keeping our bodies and minds healthy, and this work does nothing to change that message. What our work adds is that we also need to focus on diet, particularly when it comes to managing our weight and preventing or reversing unhealthy weight gain."
The research suggests that people who start exercising to lose weight see a halt in progress—or sometimes even a reversal—after a few months.
Pontzer himself took express note of the phenomenon while studying a hunter-gatherer society in Tanzania. There, the Hadza people work long and hard hours on a daily basis. But as it turns out, their energy expenditures are similar to those of relatively sedentary Americans.
Further testing of 300 people over the course of a week confirmed the initial observations of the Hadza.
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