The role of exercise in weight loss

Behav Med. 1995 Spring;21(1):31-9. doi: 10.1080/08964289.1995.9933740.


Aerobic exercise has traditionally been viewed as a critical component of most weight-reduction programs. The resulting weight loss from the exercise alone, however, is often disappointing. Researchers too frequently fail to take into account the normal energy expenditure associated with living; the degree of obesity; the intensity and duration of the exercise itself; the activity during the recovery period; food intake before and after the exercise; and the age, gender, and training status of the individuals. Nor do they consider variations in baseline resting metabolic rates. In this article, the authors explore the effect of the intensity of aerobic exercise on weight loss, emphasizing the inability of many obese individuals to maintain an intensity level sufficient to produce significant weight loss. Aerobic exercise should be emphasized for its health benefits rather than as a short-term method of enhancing weight loss.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Biotransformation
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Weight Loss*