To maintain weight loss, exercise is more important than diet

In a new study, researchers found physical activity does more to maintain substantial weight loss than a diet.

The research was done by a team from the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC).

Many people struggle to keep weight off over a long period, but the reason was unclear.

In the study, the team looked at successful weight-loss maintainers, who maintained a reduced body weight of 30 pounds or more for over a year.

They found that the calories burned in physical activity by weight-loss maintainers were much higher compared with that in people of normal body weight and people with obesity.

Despite the higher energy cost of moving a larger body mass incurred by people with obesity, weight-loss maintainers were burning more energy in physical activity, suggesting they were moving more.

This is supported by the fact that the weight-loss maintainers also had higher levels of steps per day (12,000 steps per day) compared to people at normal body weight (9,000 steps per day) and people with overweight/obesity (6,500 steps per day).

The findings show successful weight-loss maintainers rely on physical activity to remain in energy balance (rather than chronic restriction) to avoid weight regain.

The team says successful weight-loss maintainers appear to avoid weight regain with high levels of physical activity.

The findings are consistent with previous results that physical activity energy expenditure was strongly linked to weight loss and weight gain after six years.

One author of the study is Danielle Ostendorf, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

The study is published in the journal Obesity.

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