This article on the New York Times Well Blog today highlights a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and makes the point that people who exercise (without restricting calories) to lose weight are not successful. This isn’t necessarily news to us at Trismarter.com. It’s long been known in academic circles that exercise is more effective at maintaining weight loss than initiating it. Hence, our Tri2Lose Program begins with an initial phase of dietary modification followed by triathlon training. Elementary.
Why don’t people generally lose weight when they begin an exercise-only program? My favorite explanation is that they compensate in other aspects of the daily living. That is, they may park closer to the office door, take the elevator when they used to take the stairs (afterall, I worked out this morning!), etc. This compensatory behavior then essentially erases the effect of their prior exercise bout. Not to mention, we all know it’s possible to rationalize having an extra serving at dinner “because I worked out so hard today”. This all adds up, typically faster than the energy is spent in the exercise bout.