Best Way to Lose Weight: Diet, Exercise or Diet + Exercise?

Want to lose 20 pounds? Should you go on a starvation diet, run 20 miles a week or reduce calorie intake and exercise moderately? Richard Washburn and co-workers from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City performed a detailed literature review of studies published between 1990 and 2013. Caloric restriction caused the greatest weight loss. Dieting was more effective than aerobics plus a normal diet or diet plus exercise. However, most studies included only about 30 minutes of exercise. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines recommended one to one-and-a-half hours of aerobic exercise per day for people wanting to lose weight or maintain lost weight. This was based on doubly labeled water studies that precisely measured the minimum amount of exercise necessary to lose weight. Few people are willing to do that much exercise. In the long run, people lost the most weight and maintained lost weight best when they combined diet and exercise. (PLOS ONE 9(10): e109849, 2014)

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