Why Eating Less and Exercising More Doesn’t Always Work for Long-Term Weight Loss

spin-classIf there’s one thing we’ve learned from the numerous studies investigating the effects of calorie restriction and exercise on weight loss, it’s that people usually creep up towards their original body weight when they start eating to satiety again or ease up on their training regime. Despite these poor long-term results, the notion that we just have to exercise more and eat less seems so intuitively right and is also so deeply rooted in people’s belief systems that few question its accuracy. Some folks even claim that calories are all that counts and that it really doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you reduce your energy intake. While a subset of the population manages to stay relatively lean by doing some type of regular exercise and eating purely based on their energy and macronutrient needs, it’s clear that this doesn’t work for everyone. We’re losing the war against obesity, and it seems that the mantra to eat less and exercise more could be doing us more harm than good…

Read more from my guest post at BretContreras.com


  1. […] I’ve repeatedly highlighted the fact that restricting calories and exercising more doesn’t really work for long-term weight loss. While those who are lean and want to lose even more weight usually have to consciously reduce food intake, the basic goal for those that are overweight and obese should be to reduce inflammation, improve sensitivity to key metabolic hormones, and lower the homeostatic setpoint. If this is done correctly, energy expenditure will increase (e.g., higher metabolic rate, increased body heat production) and appetite will decrease. You essentially burn more stored energy and aren’t as hungry as before. To understand these principles of thermodynamics, leptin, and homeostatic regulation of body weight, read my previous articles on the subjects (1,2,3,4). […]

  2. […] got a lot of interesting stuff for today’s edition of around the web. Last week I published an article on BretContreras.com that received about 1k shares on Facebook. Weight regulation is definitely a […]

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