Health And Lifestyle For The Over 50s

You Can’t Exercise Away Weight Gain


It’s common knowledge that there are two vital ingredients needed in order to shed the pounds quickly; and those are exercise and good diet. As a result, gyms across the UK enjoy thousands of people signing up each year, each with the ambition of hitting the treadmill and losing the excess weight.

However, according to new research, if you think that running alone is going to shift the love-handles, you’re in for a shock. Apparently, real weight-loss requires a complete diet overhaul, and exercise on its own is not enough to get results.

Fresh Research Suggests Bad Diet is to Blame for Obesity, Not Lack of Exercise
According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, weight-gain is all down to what you put in your mouth, not what you do with your body.

The research, whose authors include Dr Aseem Malhotra (famous for his many criticisms of the UK food industry) indicates that, whilst physical activity can be helpful in terms of reducing risk of heart disease, it does ‘not promote weight-loss’ in itself.

Misleading Food Industry
The authors state that ‘members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise’.

They claim that the cause of this mistaken belief lies in misleading information provided by the British food industry, which ‘uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco… denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the costs of millions of lives’.

Challenging the Status-Quo Further
The researchers even go as far as to claim that conventional opinions about what constitutes a ‘good’ diet may be wrong. Traditionally, fats have been associated with weight gain; however, this study seeks to promote a high-fat diet, which is also low in sugar and carbohydrates.

Their statements have divided opinion in the medical world. Catherine Collins, from the British Dietetic Association, suggested that the research had not taken into account the many health benefits associated with exercise, and had only used ‘incomplete evidence’ to create their case.

Likewise, Professor Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, claims that ‘the authors fail to note that weight loss programmes which combine diet and physical activity are the most successful route to weight loss.’

What Action Should You be Taking?
Whilst exercise alone is unlikely to help you to lose weight successfully, its importance certainly shouldn’t be underestimated. Regular aerobic exercise, combined with muscles strengthening activities, has been shown to increase lifespan, promote healthier hearts and boost immunity.

However, it’s undeniable that diet should be your top priority if you’re trying to lose weight. As the research suggests, cutting back on sugar and carbohydrates is likely to help considerably. For a more detailed weight-loss plan, the best course of action is to speak with your GP, who will be able to work with you to device a sensible healthy-eating programme.