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Question
Posted by: Tammy | 2010/02/11

Interesting article

Hi doc, I read somewhere that cardio exercise doesn' t have any link to weight loss. I think you wrote the article on intense/ moderate exercise (I might be getting horribley confused- my apologies if that is the case). I just want to know then- if cardio doesn' t have a link to weight loss, why when doing cardio does one lose weight? Since doing my Zumba (which is not very intense but gets you worked up quick) I' ve lost weight but when I was just doing my not very intese at all walking I was gaining weight. I' m confused as to how it all works.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Tammy

Did I write the article? Shape Magazine, maybe?

I think you may be taking a few articles and combining them - last year, Time magazine wrote a piece saying that exercise didn't help weight loss. I wrote a piece saying that in fact, it DID, and people who were serious about weight loss SHOULD consider both exercise AND diet. I think maybe the confusion is coming in because of the diet aspect, which is where many people falter.

They will exercise, but then either accidentally or on purpose, they over-compensate with their diets, and end up replacing the energy they burned. For example, they train for 45 minutes, and then grab a juice and a sandwich that they wouldn't have otherwise eaten, and the next thing you know, they gain weight. So that's maybe the point that you are thinking of, from those articles. People who combine exercise and diet tend to lose weight and keep it off better than those who just tackle one at a time.

So, in your case, you lose weight doing harder training, because you burn more energy, whereas the walking does not produce that same energy deficit. Also, harder exercise can switch off your appetite, and that helps too, obviously!

So don't worry, keep up what you're doing, if it works for you, and it's what you want, then just keep it going and enjoy!

Ross

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/02/19

Hi Tammy

Did I write the article? Shape Magazine, maybe?

I think you may be taking a few articles and combining them - last year, Time magazine wrote a piece saying that exercise didn't help weight loss. I wrote a piece saying that in fact, it DID, and people who were serious about weight loss SHOULD consider both exercise AND diet. I think maybe the confusion is coming in because of the diet aspect, which is where many people falter.

They will exercise, but then either accidentally or on purpose, they over-compensate with their diets, and end up replacing the energy they burned. For example, they train for 45 minutes, and then grab a juice and a sandwich that they wouldn't have otherwise eaten, and the next thing you know, they gain weight. So that's maybe the point that you are thinking of, from those articles. People who combine exercise and diet tend to lose weight and keep it off better than those who just tackle one at a time.

So, in your case, you lose weight doing harder training, because you burn more energy, whereas the walking does not produce that same energy deficit. Also, harder exercise can switch off your appetite, and that helps too, obviously!

So don't worry, keep up what you're doing, if it works for you, and it's what you want, then just keep it going and enjoy!

Ross

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