By Ken Reed

There are a ton of studies out there that show fit people enjoy better overall health, have fewer behavioral and emotional problems, and do better cognitively (including on academic tests) than those that are physically inactive.

Now, there’s evidence that people who’ve lost a significant amount of weight, and who exercise regularly, keep weight off better than those that focus on caloric restriction.

The March issue of Obesity contains a new study from the University of Colorado that reveals that successful weight-loss maintainers (reduced body weight of 30 or more pounds for more than a year) rely on physical activity, as opposed to chronic restriction of dietary intake, to avoid regaining pounds lost.

“This study addresses the difficult question of why so many people struggle to keep weight off over a long period. By providing evidence that a group of successful weight-loss maintainers engages in high levels of physical activity to prevent weight regain – rather than chronically restricting their energy intake – is a step forward to clarifying the relationship between exercise and weight-loss maintenance,” said Danielle Ostendorf, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

The new study’s findings are consistent with results from the longitudinal study of “The Biggest Loser” contestants, where energy expenditure via exercise was strongly correlated with weight loss and weight gain after six years.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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