Research: Combined dietary and exercise results in superior weight loss


Dietary and exercise combined are superior for fat loss than diet alone.

six pack abs

six pack abs

If you are like most Americans and you look in the mirror, you most certainly notice that your fat storage is around your belly.   Sure we all want abdominals of steel, but in reality, it is extremely unlikely most fo use will get there.  You can do crunches until your eyes meet and you will still be a little soft in the middle.  It has long been recognized that a slim waistline is made in the kitchen and not the gym, but many people have assumed that this means that the gym or exercise is not needed.   

The question is whether exercise plays a part in giving you a slim waist.  A recent study looked at exercise and diet and their effect on fat or weight loss[1].  Specifically, The study examined the effects of dietary and exercise interventions on weight loss and body composition in overweight women.  The meta-analysis looked at randomized controlled trials and prospective studies of overweight/obese peri- or postmenopausal women that examined the effects of dietary or exercise interventions, alone or combined, on weight loss were included.  The primary outcome was the percentage reduction in body weight.  The researchers included 11 studies with 12 sets of participants.  Sure, diet alone resulted in nearly double the weight loss to exercise alone but exercise combined with exercise has a superior effect.  Combined dietary and exercise intervention groups had significantly greater fat and weight loss than either exercise or diet alone.   

The bottom line:  This study confirms the fact that a slim waist is made in the kitchen, but it also confirms the positive effect of exercise on fat and weight loss.  The addition of exercise reinforced the effect of dietary interventions on changing body weight and composition.  I suggest you add both diet and exercise to your daily routine.  


C.-C. Cheng, C.-Y. Hsu, and J.-F. Liu, “Effects of dietary and exercise intervention on weight loss and body composition in obese postmenopausal women,” Menopause, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 772–782, Jul. 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001085″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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