Teen Weight Loss Study: Diet Without Exercise Not So Effective
We know most of our readers are not 14 to 18-year-olds, but this new study about the efficacy of diet and exercise on teens has a nugget of knowledge for you to feast on if you’re looking to shed some pounds. Have you ever wondered; “Can I lose weight if I just cut down on eating ice cream and Big Macs, or do I really need to add exerc
ise into the mix?”
The study took 304 obese kids to try and help you answer that question, and broke them down into four groups: Diet only, Diet and Aerobic Training, Diet and Resistance Training and all three combined. After six months they checked the results by measuring body fat using an MRI scanner. Let’s start with the clear winner: All three approaches combined. Aerobic and Resistance Training with a good diet was the key to losing weight, with the teens in that group on average losing close to 2 inches off their waistlines and almost 5% of their total body fat. Teens limited to one style of training and diet had a decrease in efficiency, with Aerobic exercise slimming the waistline more and Resistance cutting out more fat. But the key discovery: Diet alone barely did anything.
Well, it did do something — the kids who only dieted lost weight, but we’re talking a 0.6% decline. And there was no noticeable waistline change. By that metric, dieting without exercise may have a cumulative effect by the time these kids turn 55.
And speaking of aging, the older you get, the more your metabolism slows. So even if you’re not obese (or 15), this study shows that it’s best to leave the rest of that Big Mac on your tray, and leave the car in the parking lot; it’s time to jog home.