The Mind-Blowing Weight Loss Myth That’s Keeping Us Fat

women exercisingA team of doctors have come out with a message many of us do not want to hear: You cannot outrun a bad diet. "Physical activity does not promote weight loss," they say. That's a myth. And now, allow me to screech what we're all thinking right now: Wait, what?!?


In an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a team of cardiologists say there's no question that exercise is good for you. "Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%." It's just that if you think you can lose weight by exercise alone, without changing your diet, you're fooling yourself.

It's our diet, the amount and type of calories we consume, that they're most alarmed about. We're eating way too much sugar.

... poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.

And they place the blame for this squarely on the food industry, for promoting the ideas that all calories count the same, and that you can keep eating what you want as long as you exercise those calories away. The doctors compare these tactics to the PR machine of the tobacco industry.

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All calories are not the same. "Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger," the editorial states. "Fat calories induce fullness or ‘satiation’." And there's plenty of incontrovertible proof of this.

From there they take on carbs (" ... dietary carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome ...") and the "health halo" around not-so-nutritious foods like sugary sports drinks. It's pretty scathing.

And they didn't even get into all the convenience foods families rely on, from salad dressing to frozen meals to yogurt, that are all loaded with unnecessary sugar and sweeteners.

Bottom line: Cut the sugar. Exercise is still good for you but cut the sugar. Eat moderate amounts of protein and fat calories but cut the sugar. 

Are you surprised to hear doctors saying this? Have you ever tried to cut back on sugar?


Image via Kzenon/Shutterstock

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