Effective Weight Loss with Diet and Exercise

Reducting calories and moderate activity will result in weight loss

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Most people know that with exercise and diet, weight loss can be achieved. The actual pounds lost for most people are often less than the desired amount. The fact that many only use one strategy for weight loss could be the problem.

Researchers have found that the combination of diet and exercise leads to a significant amount of weight loss along with reduced body fat.

The study showed all participants regularly lost around 11 percent of their initial weight. The study included overweight postmenopausal women, age 50-75, that lead relatively inactive lifestyles.

"If you're over 50 years old, work out and eat better to lose weight."

The year-long study led by Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Prevention Center and a member of the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division, involved 439 postmenopausal women from Seattle that are classified as overweight to obese. 

The women were randomly separated into four different categories: exercise only, diet only, exercise and diet, and no intervention.

By the end of the experiment females in the exercise only group lost on average 2.4 percent of their initial body weight. The females in the diet only category lost on average 8.5 percent of their initial body weight.

The most significant weight loss came from the exercise and diet group with in average of 10.8 percent of their initial body weight.

Strategies that were used by women that had the most weight lost included food journals that kept track of everything that was consumed during the experiment and eating more home cooked meals rather than eating out.

The Study

  • The study was done on postmenopausal women because few studies have focused on the high rates of overweight and obesity in postmenopausal women
  • Exercise only participants were required to have 45 minutes of moderate-to vigorous aerobic exercise daily, five days a week, including three days at Hutchinson Center’s facility
  • Diet only participants had diets restricted to 1,200-2,000 calories per day (depended on starting weight), and fewer than 30 percent of calories were from fat
  • Exercise and diet participants combined the exercise portion and diet portion
  • Weight lost by individuals did not necessarily bring individuals to healthy weight but weight loss leads to improved health
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Review Date: 
April 26, 2011
Last Updated:
May 2, 2011