In addition to helping with energy balance, physical activity helps convert fat to
muscle, strengthen bone, and avoid or reverse the frailty that accompanies obesity
in older adults. So even if your weight does not change much, exercise will help
you to lose fat and lose inches, and exercise is crucial to the maintenance of normal
weight for many people. For people who are obese, it is very important to start
an exercise program gradually to avoid injury. It is also a good idea to vary exercise
activities and to include weight-bearing and weight-training activities.
People who are of normal weight tend to get more exercise than those who are
obese. Since 1994, the U.S. National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) has studied
and is tracking over 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight
and kept it off for long periods of time. Although there is substantial variation
in how NWCR members keep the weight off, most report being attentive to their
weight, continuing to maintain a low calorie, low-fat diet, and undertaking high
levels of physical activity.
• 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in
some way to lose weight.
• 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form
of activity being walking.
• 90% exercise, on average, about one hour per day.
A combination of exercise and calorie restriction is employed by the overwhelming
majority of individuals in the Registry who have been successful at weight loss and
maintenance of the loss.
Covert Bailey asserted in his book Fit or Fat? that “The ultimate cure for obesity
is exercise.” Not only is exercise a valuable contributor to weight loss, it is also
essential to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off. Although dietary calorie
reduction alone will lead to weight loss, the addition of exercise to a reduced-calorie
diet preserves or builds up muscle and results in somewhat greater losses of body
weight and, especially, to the more important goal of losing fat. For example, a
study of female adolescents and young adults found that participants who just used
limitation of portion size were less successful in avoiding weight gain than those
who combined portion limitation with frequent exercise.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.