A vast amount of research has definitely proven that exercise, when combined with a healthy diet, results in both weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight. Exercise alone may not cause the weight loss, but when combined with a healthy low-calorie diet, it is the best option for lifestyle changes and maintaining the weight loss. Effective weight loss and maintenance depend on a simple equation called energy balance: Calories expended through physical activity and normal lifestyle functions must exceed calories consumed.
Further, there is little evidence to the claim that exercising produces hunger so uncontrollable that it leads to weight gain. In fact, a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh proved just the opposite: overweight and obese women didn’t eat any more food after 40 minutes of exercise than they normally would when sedentary.
Exercise does require effort, and it does require self-control. But when these are combined to form a healthy lifestyle, the rewards are beyond substantial. Economically, expenditures are reduced (the recent Weight of the Nation conference reported that obesity accounts for some $147 billion in health care costs per year): and people lead more enjoyable, more energetic and happier lives.
Even for the non-overweight, exercise provides benefits that no single pill or prescription ever could. It treats and prevents numerous chronic conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and even depression.
Exercise is a health tool that we all need, regardless of our weight!