Diet is more important for weight loss than exercise

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Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 5.27.36 PM Sweating it out on the treadmill for 40 minutes is all well and good, but getting home and treating yourself to something naughty will, unfortunately, undo all that good work! And now new research has backed up claims that it is diet rather than exercise that will keep you trim. Experts from Loyola University Chicago looked at adults from the U.S., Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica and Seychelles, with participants wearing a tracker device for a week so physical activity could be recorded accurately with no risk of it being overestimated. The group’s height, weight and body fat were measured, with participants checking back in after 12 months then 24. Initial figures found the people from Ghana had the lowest average weight, with the American participants weighing the most, at more than 60 pounds more in both men and women. The Ghana group were also fitter than their American counterparts, with 76 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women meeting the U.S. Surgeon General physical activity guidelines of at least two and a half hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, compared to 44 per cent of American men and 20 per cent of women. Interestingly though researchers found that weight gain was actually up in all countries among the people who met the exercise quota. “The media is telling us that more physical activity is needed to manage weight. But we saw that what actually predicted weight gain was your baseline starting weight - whether you were already overweight or obese when started or you needed to gain more weight,” lead author Dr Lara Dugas said. “The problem is the intake side of the equation. There's not enough emphasis on what our portion sizes are and what we're eating than what is the sexiest, or latest fad diet.” She adds that obesity is a multifactorial disease and is an epidemic that didn’t happen overnight. Dr Dugas adds that keeping fit is still highly important, but attitudes to diet also need to change. “Physical activity is very important. It is the number one predictor of mortality and morbidity,” she continued. “But we're trying to change the mindset that exercise is what slims you down. What we would say is exercise well for your heart, but eat well for your weight.” © Cover Media

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