What works best for weight loss – Diet or Exercise?

1 Comment


One of my friends recently forwarded this research paper to me:

Reduction in obesity and related comorbid conditions after diet-induced weight loss or exercise-induced weight loss in men. A randomized, controlled trial.

The reason why I find it interesting and worth sharing with you, is that it deals with one of the BIG questions in health interventions: What works best for obese people – diet or exercise? For many years, dietitians and other calorie-counting diet consultants have argued that changes in diet will mean more than 90% in relations to a weight loss program, and that exercise  won’t result in significant weight loss.  For the same reason, I find that many clients when signing up for personal training will focus more on getting a diet plan, than getting a training program. However, according to this study in obese men, exercise will have a significant effect on the total weight loss. Combining these finds with the fact that exercise has a lot of other positive health benefits might mean that EXERCISE IS BACK as a serious player in the treatment of obesity. – Ditte

Below is a brief resumé of the article – if you are interested in looking in to this – read the original paper here:


The independent effects of diet- or exercise-induced weight loss on the reduction of obesity and related comorbid conditions are not known. The effects of exercise without weight loss on fat distribution and other risk factors are also unclear.


To determine the effects of equivalent diet- or exercise-induced weight loss and exercise without weight loss on subcutaneous fat, visceral fat skeletal muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in obese men.


Randomized, controlled trial.


University research center.


52 obese men (mean body mass index [+/-SD], 31.3 +/- 2.0 kg/m2) with a mean waist circumference of 110.1 +/- 5.8 cm.


Participants were randomly assigned to one of four study groups (diet-induced weight loss, exercise-induced weight loss, exercise without weight loss, and control) and were observed for 3 months.


Change in total, subcutaneous, and visceral fat; skeletal muscle mass; cardiovascular fitness; glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.


– Body weight decreased by 7.5 kg (8%) in both weight loss groups and did not change in the exercise without weight loss and control groups.

– Compared with controls, cardiovascular fitness (peak oxygen uptake) in the exercise groups improved by approximately 16% (P < 0.01).

– Although total fat decreased in both weight loss groups (P < 0.001), the average reduction was 1.3 kg (95% CI, 0.3 to 2.3 kg) greater in the exercise-induced weight loss group than in the diet-induced weight loss group (P = 0.03). Similar reductions in abdominal subcutaneous, visceral, and visceral fat-to-subcutaneous fat ratios were observed in the weight loss groups (P < 0.001).

– Abdominal and visceral fat also decreased in the exercise without weight loss group (P = 0.001).


Weight loss induced by increased daily physical activity without caloric restriction substantially reduces obesity (particularly abdominal obesity) and insulin resistance in men. Exercise without weight loss reduces abdominal fat and prevents further weight gain.


One thought on “What works best for weight loss – Diet or Exercise?

  1. Pingback: Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects |Quick Weight Loss-Diet|GCE! – SpeakingTree (blog) | Weekly Weight Loss Tips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s