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 youâ€™re looking to shed some pounds. Have you ever wondered; â€œCan 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?â€
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. Letâ€™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 â€” the kids who only dieted lost weight, but weâ€™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 youâ€™re not obese (or 15), this study shows that itâ€™s best to leave the rest of that Big Mac on your tray, and leave the car in the parking lot; itâ€™s time to jog home.