Research: Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help improve body composition.


Six-week weight loss plan with healthier diet and exercise improves body composition.

Fitness young Asian woman training legs with squat exercise on beach

Woman exercising on a beach

Nearly every expert that claims to be able to help you with weight loss will tell you that the key is a clean and healthier diet and improving your body composition and lose weight.  The problem is that there is limited evidence to back it up and there is some evidence that conflicts with the concept.   Personally, I have found that regular exercise and a healthier diet goes a long way toward losing weight.  I have seen other people who seem to implement the perfect diet and exercise plan only to fail to lose any weight.  The secret is what you define as success.  Despite your definition of success, regular exercise and a healthy diet are associated with significant changes in our bodies including improved body composition.  

A recent study actually looked at this very question.  Published in 2018 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the study looks at a group of subjects that were participating in a six-week weight loss challenge to lose twenty pounds[1].   A local gym was the site for the intervention and thirty-four sedentary participants were placed on a structured diet and exercise plan.  The purpose of this study was to determine if a weight loss driven program would also result in an improvement in body composition and enhance cardiovascular health.  The researchers found that participants successfully lost 1-inch off their waists and hips and had improved blood cholesterol levels at the completion of the program.  The test group also has a significant increase in muscle mass and a decrease in body fat.  

The bottom line: The results suggest that a healthier diet and exercise program is linked significantly improving body composition and blood cholesterol levels.  This study emphasizes the health-related advantages of incorporating physical activity and a healthy diet into a sedentary lifestyle and this could have long-standing benefits if a patient is able to maintain the lifestyle.  


M. A. Whidden et al., “Effects of a Six Week Weight Loss Challenge on Body Composition and Cardiovascular Health,” M, vol. 50, p. 161, May 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1249/01.mss.0000535616.91215.a3″ 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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