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Exercise won’t help you lose weight, says a top diet expert

Exercise won’t help you lose weight, says a top diet expert

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Exercising won’t help you I’m losing weight by itself, sensationally declared one of the country’s leading experts.

Professor Tim Spector, a prolific diet researcher and author, agrees that exercise is “great” for your overall health, especially your heart.

He even insisted that “we should all do it.”

But when it comes to weight loss, Professor Spector argues that exercise is “useless by itself”. This goes against the advice of health agencies across the planet, which claim it is “key” to beating the bulge.

Professor Spector admits that although exercise is “great for your health” and “fantastic for your mood”, you shouldn’t exercise alone if “weight loss is your goal”.

Professor Tim Spector (pictured above) said exercise has been

Professor Tim Spector (pictured above) said exercise has been “vastly hyped as an easy solution to our obesity problem”.

Exercise — of any kind — actually plays “a very small role in weight loss,” he said on Steven Bartlett’s “Diary of an Executive” podcast.

Professor Spector, who trained as an epidemiologist and rose to fame tracking Covid during the pandemic, said: “All the long-term studies show that it doesn’t help with weight loss…

“It has been greatly exaggerated as an easy solution to our obesity problem.

“All the research shows that.

“The only caveat to that is if you’ve changed your diet, you’ve improved your diet and you’ve lost some weight, maintaining some exercise really prevents it from coming back on.”

“But by itself, if you don’t change your diet, there’s no benefit, and that’s already well known by all obesity experts and studies.”

He added: “It’s great for your health, I exercise. It’s fantastic for your mood, it’s great for your heart.

“We should all do it, but absolutely not if your goal is weight loss.

“This is a huge myth that is perpetuated especially by gyms and fitness apps. It’s complete nonsense,” he said.

Professor Specter’s comments contradict some of the most trusted health advice. “Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off,” says the NHS.

It adds that eating fewer calories will help you lose weight, but maintaining muscle forever “requires physical activity to burn energy.”

A calorie is a way of measuring energy – either the amount contained in food or the amount burned through activity.

People gain weight when they consume more calories than they burn through daily activities. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in.

As a result, calorie restriction – or more exercise – are the first steps for many looking for a lean physique.

Speaking on the same podcast, Professor Spector advised people who want to lose weight to simply change their diets.

He said calorie counting, while effective in the short term, was “absolute nonsense” because most people who stuck to the tedious regimen “rebounded”.

Instead, he advised eating more plant-based foods, doing so within a 10-hour window and avoiding ultra-processed foods.

Official guidelines suggest that adults should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, spread over four to five days.

Examples of vigorous exercise include running, swimming, skipping, and stair climbing.

Similar advice – which also includes muscle-strengthening exercises two days a week – exists in the US.

Lack of exercise combined with unhealthy diets have been blamed for growing obesity epidemics around the world.

Two-thirds of British adults are overweight, with more of us predicted to gain weight in the future. Prices are even higher in the US.

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How should people lose weight?

Professor Tim Spector, a nutrition expert, said some people could lose weight in the short term by restricting their calorie intake. But almost everyone “goes back” to their original weight and “goes way above it,” he claims.

He claims the approach – recommended by the NHS as one way to lose weight – is a “gigantic camouflage” that keeps people focused on calories rather than the quality of what they eat.

Professor Spector shared his three tips for those looking to reach their healthiest weight:

Avoid ultra-processed foods

Ultra-processed foods are foods that have undergone industrial processing and bear no resemblance to the original foods they came from.

They usually contain a lot of added salt, sugar, fat and other chemical additives.

Researchers found that people who ate an ultra-processed diet consumed an additional 300 calories per day more than people who ate a minimally processed diet.

Tip: If you ever want to see how processed something is, look at how many ingredients it has. Generally speaking, the more ingredients, the more processed.

Try limited time eating

Eat all your meals within a ten hour window and then fast for 14 hours, most of which happens at night while you sleep. Like us, our gut microbes also need rest and recovery so we can give the gut lining time to recover. Our results from the ZOE Health Study showed that this almost instantly cut any snacking out of your diet and more importantly, it stopped people from snacking late at night – the worst kind of snack for our health.

Tip: Skipping breakfast or delaying it by a few hours is an easy way to prolong your fast.

Eat 30 plants every week

Instead of focusing on the number of calories, focus on the number of plants per week.

For people trying to lose weight, I would recommend eating a variety of foods. 30 plants a week is something we should all aim for to improve our gut health.

Tip: Remember, a plant isn’t just a fruit and a vegetable, it’s also nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, so it’s easier than it looks.


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