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Reducing Food Intake or Increasing Exercise Equals Weight Loss

The most important factor in weight loss is reducing your energy intake. The majority of weight loss techniques work because of this principle.

 -“Although genetics may cause a variance in the rate of weight loss it appears that motivation to adhere to either the diet or exercise intervention is the most important factor for weight loss”-

 When weight loss studies require a strict adherence to a reduced calorie or energy deficit diet it is found that on average the group experience weight losses which correspond to the level of calorie restriction. These weight losses are due to the restricted energy intakes. When exercise is added to these diet interventions there is a larger weight loss due to the exercise induced energy expenditure. The below graph of three separate studies shows the average weight loss of participants on a moderate energy restricted diet. During these studies half the group dieted and the other half dieted and exercised. As you can see both diet and exercise create an exercise deficit which is additive and results in a loss of body fat.(1,2,3) 

When exercise is increased and food intake remains constant weight loss is equivalent to that achieved on a diet alone provided the energy deficits remain equal. (4,5)

  •  Reduce portion sizes
  •  Learn about the energy content of your food
  •  Keep a food diary
  •  Perform cardiovascular exercise 3 times per week and strength / circuit exercises twice per week
  •  Complete our Nutrition Survey on a fortnightly basis to make sure your adhering to the best weight loss practices
  •  Increase incidental exercise such as walking to the shops or work
Energy Deficit Key Points
  1. Kempen, K. P., W. H. Saris, and Klaas R. Westerterp. "Energy balance during an 8-wk energy-restricted diet with and without exercise in obese women." The American journal of clinical nutrition 62.4 (1995): 722-729.
  2. Svendsen, Ole Lander, Christian Hassager, and Claus Christiansen. "Effect of an energy-restrictive diet, with or without exercise, on lean tissue mass, resting metabolic rate, cardiovascular risk factors, and bone in overweight postmenopausal women." The American journal of medicine 95.2 (1993): 131-140.
  3. Meckling, Kelly A. Meckling KA, and Rachel Sherfey R. Sherfey. "A randomized trial of a hypocaloric high-protein diet, with and without exercise, on weight loss, fitness, and markers of the Metabolic Syndrome in overweight and obese women." Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism 32.4 (2007): 743-752.
  4. Redman, Leanne M., et al. "Effect of calorie restriction with or without exercise on body composition and fat distribution." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 92.3 (2007): 865-872.
  5. Fontana, Luigi, et al. "Calorie restriction or exercise: effects on coronary heart disease risk factors. A randomized, controlled trial." American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism 293.1 (2007): E197-E202.
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