When people exercise, they often don't lose as much weight as scientists expect.

To find out why, researchers randomly assigned 171 sedentary people with overweight or obesity to burn:

  • A: no extra calories
  • B: roughly 100 extra calories a day, or
  • C: roughly 250 extra calories a day. 

All exercise sessions were monitored. 

After six months, group A had lost 1/2 pound, group B had lost about 1 pound, and group C had lost 3 1/2 pounds. Based on how much the groups exercised, the researchers calculated that group B should have lost another 3 pounds and group C should have lost another 6 pounds.

What happened?

The people in groups B and C "compensated" for the exercise by eating roughly 100 extra calories a day.

What to do

If you want to lose weight, eat less. And exercise to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, bone loss, muscle loss, and more.

Photo: Denis/stock.adobe.com.