You won’t hear this from most exercise gurus (not that I’m calling myself a guru).
A review of exercise and it’s effects on weight loss from The Cochrane Collaboration last year showed that exercise has minimal effect on weight loss when combined with diet. In fact, over follow-up periods of 3 to 12 months, exercise in addition to diet only provided 1.1 kg (about 2.4 lbs) more weight loss compared to diet alone.
2.4 lbs extra weight loss for all that work over 3-12 months? That’s almost not worth mentioning.
This a very general view of the exercise world, since the exercise modes measured included walking, jogging, cycling, resistance training, etc… all compiled together. However, I must say that through the research I’ve been reading for the S.P.E.E.D. Plan, I haven’t found nearly as much evidence in support of exercise for increased weight loss when added to dietary restriction as I would have liked.
The advantage to exercise may lie in body composition, helping us lose more fat and maintain or increase muscle. Although, as much as it hurts to write this, the research isn’t very conclusive either way thus far…
More on this fun stuff later.
Shaw K, Gennat H, O’Rourke P, Del Mar C. Exercise for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003817. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003817.pub3.