Weight Loss: Over Time, the Effects of Exercise Diminish New Study Shows

Over time, the benefits of exercise for weight loss diminish as the body compensates, and this is more pronounced in obese or overweight people.

Physical Exercise

Physical Exercise

Weight loss is often a very complex endeavor. It requires effort in terms of diet, exercise, and sleep. Worse still, a new study suggests that exercise reduces the number of calories burned at rest, making it very difficult to rely solely on physical activity to lose weight. The study, published in the journal Current Biology on 27 August, adds that this compensation by the body is even greater in obese and overweight people.

The body compensates for energy expenditure

The body seems designed to make weight loss as difficult as possible. At first glance, this seems simple: all that is needed is an increase in physical activity to increase energy expenditure. The problem is that the body doesn’t work like that, especially in the long term. This is because the body automatically reduces its basal metabolic rate when it increases physical activity, which is a kind of compensation. And that makes it harder to lose weight.

To illustrate this, Gilmore Health used an example that shows this clearly. If you burn 200 calories due to physical activity, this should theoretically increase your energy expenditure by 200 calories. In reality, if it works for the first few days, over time this calculation stops applying. The body compensates for this increased energy expenditure by reducing expenditure elsewhere, such as in metabolism or thermogenesis. In the study, researchers estimate this energy compensation at 28%. In the example above, this means that for a 200 calorie expenditure, the actual additional energy expenditure is only 144 calories. “It’s like the government trying to balance the budget. If you spend more money on education, there is less money for road maintenance,” Lewis Halsey, a researcher at the University of Roehampton in the UK and co-author of the study, told the Guardian.

A misunderstood mechanism

Worse still, the researchers found that the phenomenon is even greater in people who are obese or overweight. Energy compensation can be as high as 49.2%. It’s possible that people with higher levels of fat become more ‘compensatory’ as they get fatter,” believes Lewis Halsey. Consequently, there is a negative feedback loop where exercise becomes less effective in losing weight.”

The researchers were unable to provide a clear explanation for this mechanism. They confirmed that this is a topic for future research. “We also need to assess whether a decrease in basal metabolic rate leads to side effects, such as a weakened immune system or slower recovery from injury, in order to calculate when exercise becomes less effective,” they conclude.


Energy compensation and adiposity in humans

Weight loss via exercise harder for obese people, data suggests

Articles you may like:

Police Recruitment Poor Standards: Physically Unfit Cops Are More Likely to Use Lethal Force

The Reasons Why Israel a Highly Vaccinated Country Has One of the Highest Infection Rates in the World

Is the Convenience of Using Toilet Paper Worth the Negative Impact They May Have On Your Health?

Chronic Pain Can Lead To Anxiety and Depression According to NeuRA Study

Chaga Mushrooms Health benefits: What does the science say?

Brain Health: Sleep Deprivation Negatively Affects Memory Study Shows

Giving Employees the Possibility to Take a 30 Minute Nap Improves Productivity

Global Food Security: Climate Change Is Likely to Cause More Plant Diseases Which Will Affect Crop Yield

Self Improvement: When Positive Thinking Becomes Unconducive to Success and Happiness

Vaccination rates below 90% Could Paradoxically Promote the Emergence of Resistant Variants

Nightmare Scenario: Could the Current Poorly Implemented Vaccination Campaign Lead to More Deadly SARS-CoV-2 Strains

Drinking Too Much Coffee Can Reduce Brain Size, and Cause Dementia

Possible Causes of the Sudden Fall In COVID-19 Infections in the UK and Europe

SARS-CoV-2 Transmissibility: Can You Really Catch COVID-19 through Flatulence (Farts)?

Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA Vaccines Do Not Make Straight Men Gay

Researchers to Start Testing Male Contraceptive Gel

Gilmore Health News

Coronavirus: The Real and False Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines

Guillain-Barré Syndrome Observed after the First Dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine


Genf20 Plus

Growth Factor Plus Reviews




Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.