Exercise won’t help you lose weight on its own, one of the country’s leading experts has sensationally claimed.
Professor Tim Spector, a prolific nutrition researcher and author, agreed that exercise is “great” for your overall health, especially your heart.
He even insisted that “we all have to do it.”
But in terms of weight loss, Professor Spector argued that exercise “is of no use on its own”. It goes against the advice of health agencies around the world that it is “key” in beating bloating.
Prof Spector admitted that while exercise is “great for your health” and “great for your mood”, you should not exercise alone if your “goal is to lose weight”.
Professor Tim Spector (pictured above) said exercise was “grossly overrated as an easy solution to our obesity problem”.
Exercise — of any kind — actually plays a very small role in weight loss, as stated on Stephen Bartlett’s podcast The Diary of a CEO.
Professor Spector, who trained as an epidemiologist and gained a reputation for tracing Covid during the pandemic, said: ‘All the long-term studies show it doesn’t help with weight loss…
It has been grossly exaggerated as an easy solution to our obesity problem.
All studies show that.
The only caveat to this is that if you change your diet, improve your diet and lose some weight, maintaining some exercise will prevent it from coming back again.
“But on its own, if you don’t change your diet, it’s useless, and that’s now well known by all the obesity experts and studies.”
He added, “This is great for your health, I exercise. It’s great for your mood, it’s great for your heart.”
We should all do it, but not at all if your goal is to lose weight.
This is a huge myth, perpetuated by gyms and fitness apps in particular. He said: It’s complete nonsense.
Professor Spector’s comments contradict some of the most trusted health advice. ‘Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off,’ says the NHS.
He adds that eating fewer calories will help you lose weight but keeping fat permanently “requires physical activity to burn energy.”
Calories are a way of measuring energy – either the amount found 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, more calories must be used than taken in.
As a result, reducing calories — or getting more exercise — are the first steps for many seeking a lean physique.
Speaking on the same podcast, Professor Spector advised that people who want to lose weight simply look at their diet.
He said counting calories, while effective in the short term, is “total bullshit” because most people who stick to the boring regimen “get back on their feet”.
Instead, he advised eating more plant-based foods, doing so within 10 hours and avoiding ultra-processed items.
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 are running, swimming, jumping and climbing stairs.
Similar advice – which also includes muscle-strengthening exercises two days a week – exists in the United States.
Lack of exercise, along with unhealthy diets, has been blamed for increasing obesity epidemics around the world.
Two-thirds of British adults are overweight, and many of us are expected to gain weight in the future. Higher rates in the United States.
In other health news…
Grandma, 79, was strapped to a BIN LID and taken to A&E after breaking her hip ‘because there was no ambulance available’ – with NHS data showing 45% of the 999 staff stuck outside A&E for at least 30 minutes
UK Covid cases spike amid fears of ‘Kraken’ variant: 1 in 20 people infected at Christmas after double cases in December as NHS battles ‘double pandemic’
Junior doctors could strike for 72 hours in March, warn of ‘militant’ union demanding 26% pay rise
How should people lose weight?
Nutrition expert Professor Tim Spector said some people can lose weight in the short term by limiting their caloric intake. But he claimed that almost all of them “bounce back” to their original weight and “many go beyond that”.
He argued that the approach – advocated by the NHS as one way to lose weight – is a “giant 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 healthy weight:
Avoid ultra-processed foods
Ultra-processed foods are foods that have undergone artificial processing and are not similar to the original foods they came from.
They usually contain a lot of salt, sugar, added fats and other chemical additives.
Researchers found that people who ate a highly processed diet consumed 300 more calories per day than people who ate a minimally processed diet.
Hint: If you want to see how something is being processed, look at how many components there are. In general, the more ingredients, the more processed.
Try time-restricted eating
Eat all of your meals within a ten-hour window, then fast for 14 hours, most of which happen overnight while you sleep. Like us, our gut microbes also need to rest and recover so we can give our gut lining time to repair. Our results from the ZOE Health Study showed that this almost immediately cuts any snack out of your diet and, more importantly, prevents people from late-night snacking – the worst kind of snacking for our health.
Hint: Skipping breakfast or delaying it by a few hours is an easy way to extend 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 recommend eating a variety of different foods. 30 plants a week is something we should all aim for to improve our gut health.
Hint: Remember, vegan isn’t just fruits and vegetables, it’s also nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices, so it’s easier than it sounds.