New research casts doubt on the commonly held belief that taking more exercise always helps you lose weight.
A study in the journal Current Biology suggests that if you jog for longer or work up a bigger sweat at the gym, your body will adapt to the higher activity level and prevent you shedding any more calories.
Two Different Tools for Weight Loss
The researchers say their findings should act as a reminder that exercise should go hand in hand with diet for anyone trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain.
“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,” says Professor Herman Pontzer from City University of New York who led the study. “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 researchers measured the daily energy expenditure of 332 adults over the course of a week. The participants came from 5 different countries across Africa and North America: the US, Ghana, Jamaica, the Seychelles and South Africa.