Jim and I read this Time article at about the same time:
(A friend on Facebook pointed me to it.) The article suggests that exercise has comparatively little to do with weight loss. What does make the difference is simply eating less. The calorie-burning effect of exercise is marginalized or negated by a few things:
- Replacing 10 pounds of fat with muscle only results in an extra 40 calories per day burned.
- Exercising doesn't burn as many calories as you might think.
- People tend to eat more than they should after exercise, and there are a number of reason why they do.
The article does not state that exercise is unimportant. There are other health benefits to exercise, such as enhanced cognitive ability and cardiovascular health.
Just don't expect to get skinny without eating less, too.