In terms of maintaining a desirable weight, evidence is beginning to accumulate that dietary intake may be more important than energy expenditure level. Decreased physical activity may not be the primary driver of the obesity epidemic. Weight loss is not likely to happen without dietary restraint. (

Based on the present literature, unless the overall volume of aerobic exercise training is very high, clinically significant weight loss is unlikely to occur. Also, exercise training also has an important role in weight regain after initial weight loss. Overall, aerobic exercise training programs consistent with public health recommendations may promote up to modest weight loss (~2 kg), however the weight loss on an individual level is highly heterogeneous. Clinicians should educate their patients on reasonable expectations of weight loss based on their physical activity program and emphasize that numerous health benefits occur from physical activity programs in the absence of weight loss. (

Exercise has a big upside for health but that doesn’t seem to necessarily apply to weight loss. While exercise is beneficial for numerous reasons, it's not the best way to lose weight. When it comes to reaching a healthy weight, what you don’t eat is much more important than an excessive emphasis on exercise (e.g., 30 minutes of jogging or swimming laps might burn off 350 calories or you could achieve the same calorie reduction by eliminating two 16-ounce sodas each day. (

Exercise alone does not seem to produce weight loss. Although aerobic training does burn calories, it is nowhere near as effective for weight loss as simply eating fewer calories. It takes a solid 30 minutes of running on a treadmill to burn 300 calories, whereas it takes you less than 30 seconds to eat a 300 calorie chocolate bar. (
Walking, according to Thomas Frieden, MD MPH, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “may be the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.” A 15- minute walk can reduce cravings and the intake of a variety of sugary snacks. An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They found that study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day cut the effects of 32 obesity-promoting genes in half. Study participants who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. Walking 5-6 miles a week can help protect knee and hip joints (most susceptible to osteoarthritis) by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them. (Harvard Medical School <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>)

A study from Northumbria University, published in theBritish Journal of Nutrition, reported that people lost 20 percent more fat when they exercised before eating breakfast. (Gameau, Damon. The Sugar Book. P. 149. NY:Flatiron Books, 2015)