August 13th, 2009

“Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” (Why Time Magazine Owes the Fitness Industry a Big Fat Apology)

At first I was tempted to title this article, “why John Cloud and the editors of Time magazine are idiots.” But then I thought that might be a bit harsh and decided to simply call for an apology and a correction for all the errors they made in last week’s article, Why exercise won’t make you thin.

I wasn’t even going to write this at first, because I figured that sending it to my 300,000+ subscribers would only draw more attention to the TIME story, and they’ve gotten enough free publicity from the blogosphere already.

But after receiving countless e-mails from my Burn The Fat subscribers, all imploring me to write a rebuttal, and then after receiving the email from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) yesterday, I reconsidered.

The ACSM said:

“Last Friday, an article appeared in Time Magazine making statements that we believe run counter to fact and the public interest. The article claimed that exercise, contrary to the research with which we are all familiar, is not an effective health tool, particularly as it pertains to weight loss…”

They continued, (addressing the fitness professionals on their mailing list):

“Your assistance is needed in getting the right health message out to the public. Also we encourage you to adapt our letter to the editor and submit it to your local news outlets, helping readers and viewers get the best evidence-based facts and information. “

Assistance has arrived. Here is the right health message that the ACSM was calling for.

I believe you’ll find my information below more accurately reflects the facts than TIME’s one-sided story.

Feel free to forward this information to your friends and colleagues. Link to this, Digg this, re-tweet this and share this on facebook. I also encourage you to send your letters to the editors of TIME.

The truth about exercise, appetite and weight loss

John Cloud, a writer for Time magazine, says that he gets hungry after exercise, so he often eats more on the days he works out than on the days he doesn’t. Therefore, he proposes that exercise won’t make you thin and might actually prevent you from losing weight.

You don’t say? You mean that you don’t lose weight if you put the calories you just burned right back in by stuffing your face with muffins and doughnuts! Who’d have thunk?

It’s tough not to pick on a “fitness journalist” who thinks that exercise turns fat into muscle. But sarcasm aside for a moment, exercise can increase hunger in some cases. Hunger is a normal regulatory response of the body to maintain energy balance and weight homeostasis anytime you’re in a calorie deficit and losing body mass, whether that is achieved through exercise or dietary restriction.

That doesn’t mean exercise is ineffective for weight loss, it means you need DIETARY RESTRAINT to lose weight! Dietary restraint means that if you want to lose weight, sometimes you have to feel hungry and NOT EAT! (even while stressed, emotional, tempted, etc.)

This takes work, and part of that work is to practice the self-discipline to not eat every time you feel the urge and to pursue the self-education to understand the realities of the energy balance equation.

You’ll have to provide the self-discipline, but let me see if I can help with the education part (pay attention, Time magazine!)

Not exercising = not smart

The International Journal of Obesity recently published a review of the effects of exercise on appetite regulation. Dr. Martins of the Obesity research group in Norway explained that in our obesogenic environment today, NOT exercising is likely to lead to weight gain:

“It has been systematically shown that the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle inevitably produces a state of positive energy balance, as the physiological system is unable, at least in the short to medium term, to compensate by decreasing energy intake.”

Translation: if you sit on your butt, and you live in a Western society in this technologically-advanced, convenience-based world, surrounded by eating cues and temptation, it is hard NOT to gain weight, especially for people with a genetic predisposition to obesity.

Exercise does NOT always increase appetite

Dr. Martins’ review, based on 110 related studies, also explained that exercise does not necessarily stimulate energy intake:

“There have been a multitude of studies published in the last two decades exploring the association between exercise and food intake. The majority of them have shown that acute exercise does not increase hunger or energy intake.”

In the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Dr. Neil King of The Human Appetite Research Unit at Leeds University Psychology department agreed with Martins’ findings:

“Despite the commonly held belief that the energy demand created by exercise automatically generates a drive to eat, the evidence for this is weak.”

That’s right, some studies do show that exercise increases appetite, but the majority say it doesn’t.

Cloud has committed the journalistic sin known as “cherry picking,” where he selectively reported the few studies that supported his viewpoint, while conveniently “forgetting” to mention the many that didn’t.

Exercise may even DECREASE appetite

To further throw a wrench in Cloud’s argument, some studies even suggest that exercise DECREASES appetite.

Cloud’s article in TIME says, “Be warned: fiery spurts of vigorous exercise could lead to weight gain.”

That’s not what the research says. Studies confirm that high intensity exercise in particular, will reduce hunger.

In The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Dr. King wrote:

“In contrast to the idea that a compensatory rise in hunger should follow exercise, many studies have shown that following a bout of intense exercise (> 60% of maximum 02 update), hunger is actually suppressed.”

A study from Laval University in Quebec (Yoshioka) concurred:

“Indeed it would seem that in the post-exercise period, high-intensity exercise seems to inhibit energy intake to a greater extent than a low-intensity exercise session of the same caloric cost.”

You may have heard that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is a very time-efficient form of exercise and that it not only leads to increased levels of fitness, but is also effective for fat loss. Now you can add to the list of benefits for HIIT — it helps support fat loss by suppressing energy intake after the workout.

Does this mean you should abandon low or moderate intensity cardio? Absolutely not. Although low intensity exercise burns fewer calories per unit of time than high intensity cardio, there is plenty of research which proves that steady state exercise such as walking or cycling is also effective for weight control.

A study from the School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK found that after 60 minutes of cycling, hormones released from the gut were responsible for a suppression of appetite after exercise:

“Acute exercise, of moderate intensity, temporarily decreased hunger sensations and was able to produce a short-term negative energy balance.”

Exercise is the key to long term weight maintenance

When it comes to long term weight maintenance, the importance of exercise is even more critical. Virtually all the weight loss experts and research studies agree: a high level of physical activity is the number one key to maintaining your ideal weight after weight loss.

One of the best examples of this comes from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). The NWCR has been tracking the habits of successful maintainers for years. They published a new report in 2008 revealing that people who are successful at maintaining their weight loss are an extremely physically active group.

Exercise may increase appetite over time, but not enough to cancel out the weight loss benefits

Even if exercise did increase appetite 100% of the time, that STILL wouldn’t mean exercise is ineffective. When there is an increase in hunger and energy intake after exercise, the increase is not significant enough to cancel out the benefits.

In a review paper published in the journal Sports Medicine, Alan Titchenal of Department of Nutrition and Food Intake Laboratory at UC Davis wrote:

“When energy intake increases in response to exercise it is usually below total energy expenditure, resulting in negative energy balance and loss of bodyweight and fat. Thus, if energy intake is expressed relative to energy expenditure, appetite is usually reduced by exercise.”

In a study titled, “Cross talk between physical activity and appetite control” JE Blundell confirmed it:

“There exists a belief that physical activity drives up hunger and increases food intake, thereby rendering it futile as a method of weight control. There is however, no evidence for such an immediate or automatic effect…”

“The immediate effect of taking up exercise is weight loss. Subsequently, food intake begins to increase in order to provide compensation for about 30% of the energy expended in activity. The compensation is partial and incomplete.”

Blundell’s comments underscore the fact that you have to go on quite an unrestrained eating binge in order to completely undo the effects of an effective exercise program.

I still can’t help but laugh at Time magazine’s article, which was mostly journalistic sensationalism passed off as science, when you consider how utterly obvious and intuitive all these research findings are. Binge after working out and you don’t lose weight? No kidding?

Listen, it’s not my intention to be purely sarcastic or suggest that some people aren’t experiencing exactly what the article described: some people are doing a lot of exercise and still not losing weight. I don’t dispute that. The problem is in their explanation about why they’re not losing weight.

It’s NOT because exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s because some people over-compensate for the calories burned through exercise by eating more. However, that is an argument for proper nutrition, not an argument against exercise.

Why doesn’t all the research agree?

Why do some studies say that exercise isn’t effective for weight loss? Part of the answer is due to experimental designs. Some studies did not include a control group and many estimated energy intake by self report, which is notoriously inaccurate, as most people underestimate how much they eat (Lichtman 1992).

And why do a few studies say that exercise increases appetite and excess food intake? That too depends on study designs as well as individual differences: Lean or obese? Male or female? Under what conditions? Fed or fasted exercise? Dieted down or just starting the diet? Under stress or without stress? With or without social support? The macronutrient composition of the diet and timing of the meals can also influence the outcome.

When discussing weight loss, exercise and appetite, not just in the mainstream media, but even in the scientific literature as well, it’s also a common mistake to generalize and the type of exercise is often not specified.

High, medium or low intensity? Aerobic exercise or strength training? (the latter can increase lean body mass, offsetting weight loss). And what kind, specifically?

Certain types of exercise, such as swimming in cold water, are well known to increase appetite, while others like HIIT, can suppress appetite.

And why research scientists in this day and age think exercise only means aerobics is beyond my comprehension. What about weight training?

The relationship between exercise and appetite is complex. Every one of these factors can influence whether exercise affects energy intake and subsequently, the amount of weight loss.

Individual variability uncovered: Compensators vs non compensators and restrained vs unrestrained eaters

Studies show that a fixed amount of exercise will not lead to the same amount of weight loss in all individuals. On the surface, this leads one to think that indeed exercise doesn’t work or there are differences in individual response to exercise and biological ability to lose fat (genetics, etc.).

The truth is, most of the variability in results can be accounted for by the type of exercise and study designs as I mentioned above, by behavioral factors and lack of compliance. That’s right, most people just don’t stay on their diets consistently – they may exercise more, but also eat more, and move less the rest of the day, which cancels out the calorie deficit. Researchers call these individuals “compensators.”

There are people who appear to compensate “automatically” for genetic or biological reasons, but there are also non-compensators who adjust their nutrition and training according to their results. You are never influenced only by genes, but also by behavior and environment. How well you comply with your diet and exercise programs and what kind of results you get are ultimately up to you and your level of dietary restraint.

Some people choose to eat inappropriately after exercise because they think they deserve a reward or they over-estimate how many calories they burned during their workout. That has nothing to do with exercise not helping with weight loss. That is called a dietary blunder! It is entirely possible for an un-educated or unrestrained eater to out-eat even the best workout program and highest levels of physical activity.

The bottom line:

The effectiveness of exercise for weight loss was never really in question. The real issue is compliance to a calorie deficit.

Exercise IS effective for weight loss – significantly so – especially when you combine weight training and cardio training with an effective nutrition plan, as I have recommended for years in my Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle program.

The health benefits of exercise are indisputable. Not to mention that training makes you look good naked. No amount of dieting will ever make you stronger, fitter and more muscular. Only training can do that. Dieting without exercising turns you into a skinny fat person. You may look thin in clothes, but when you take off the shirt, you will still look soft and flabby.

But no matter how much you exercise, you can’t lose weight if you eat yourself into a calorie surplus. Just because you start an exercise program doesn’t mean you have free license to abandon all restraint and freely indulge in eating anything you want.

So whaddya say, TIME magazine? Do you acknowledge your errors? Will you write a retraction? Thousands of fitness professionals and hundreds of thousands of fitness enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting your answer.

– Tom Venuto, author of:
Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

Founder & CEO,
Burn The Fat Inner Circle


Blundell JE, cross talk between physical activity and appetite control: does physical activity stimulate appetite? Proc Nutr Soc, 62, 651-661. 2003

Catenacci VA, Phelan S, Wing RR, Hill JO. Physical activity patterns in the national weight control registry. Obesity research. 16: 153-161, 2008

Donahoo WT, Variability in energy expenditure and its components. Curr Op Clin Nutr Metab. 7: 599-605. 2004.

Hubert P, et al, Uncoupling the effects of energy expenditure and energy intake: appetite response to short-term energy deficit induced by meal omission and physical activity. Appetite. 1998 Aug;31(1):9-19.

King NA, et al, Individual variability following 12 weeks of supervised exercise: Identification and characterization of compensation for exercise-induced weight loss. Int J Obes, 32, 177-184, 2008.

King NA, effects of exercise on appetite control: Implications for energy balance. Med Sci Sport Exer, 29(8): 1076-1089. 1997

King, NA, The relationship between physical activity and food intake. 57: 77-84. 1998.

Lichtman, S., Discrepancy between self-reported and actual caloric intake and exercise in obese subjects. NEJM. 327: 1893-1898. 1992

Lluch A, Exercise enhances palatability of food, but does not increase food consumption, in lean restrained females. Int J Obes, 21: supp a129.

Melzer K., effects of physical activity on food intake. Clin Nutr, 24: 885-895. 2005

Slentz CA. Effects of the amount of exercise on body weight, body composition, and measures of central obesity. Arch Intern Med. 164: 31-39. 2004

Titchenal A., Exercise and Food Intake: what is the relationship? Sports Med, 6: 135-145. 1988

White, L., Increased caloric intake soon after exercise in cold water. Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab, 15: 38-47, 2005. University of Gainesville, FL USA.

Yoshioka M, Impact of high-intensity exercise on energy expenditure, lipid oxidation and body fatness. Int J Obes. 25, 332-339. 2001.

  • Facebook Share


Big Fat Lies! A Shocking Expose of the 12 Biggest Scams, Cover-ups, Lies, Myths and Deceptions in the Diet, Supplement and Weight Loss Industries!

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

If you’d like a picture to show up by your name, get a Gravatar.

136 Responses to ““Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” (Why Time Magazine Owes the Fitness Industry a Big Fat Apology)”

  • jeepers, when you post, you REALLY POST, don’t you? I loved this post… Yah, John Cloud… well, don’t get ME started too!! haha…I personally find that exercise does reduce my appetite… in most cases. Lifting weights makes me hungry, but that’s just cuz its time to eat by the end of the session usually.. and like you say, its not carte blanche to just pig the heck out… you still have to exercise (pun intended) some bloody RESTRAINT and manage your diet.Can’t out-train a bad diet, John Cloud. So there. Best you close your mouth, sir… for more than one reason, it would appear.thanks Tom, as always, love what comes out of your brain!GWNN

  • Amy

    When not exercising frequently (if I worked out like 2-4 times a week) then I tended to want to “reward” myself with junk food after my workout. Needless to say, when I did that I didn’t lose weight. Now I exercise more like 5 times a week, and because it’s regular I don’t get that urge do “reward” myself for doing something special. I try to maintain a daily calorie deficit, and I’m still hungry after workouts. But I eat something healthy, like it’s one of my meals, and don’t indulge.I read Cloud’s article and it seems his problem is that he mindlessly compensates for exercise with extra food. His workouts don’t make him binge, it’s a choice he makes afterwards. Same message, right? Weight loss takes nutrition and exercise, neglecting either is kind of like spinning tires.Anyway, thanks for writing to clear up any misunderstandings. Now those of us who exercise for weight loss (with proper nutrition, and have success) have a little more ammo to shoot back at our sedentary friends who would rather watch TV than go for a walk tonight.

  • sangita

    Thanks Tom! The article had got me down a little I am slightly ashamed to admit. Even though I was thinking while reading “you idiot if you’re hungry after a bout of exercise eat some healthy low cal food!” Not rocket science huh?! But still it was good to read that research actually proves the opposite – i.e. exercise can decrease appetite. Also a lot of people once they are on the roll and start feeling and looking good after exercising they find it easier to resist temptations because they don’t want to lose the good feeling. Guess Time magazine did’nt consider that either! But I feel maybe you can’t blame them either. There are a lot of uneduacated lazy people out there who think that strolling around for 30 -40 mins allows them the fries and shake at Mcdonalds.

  • Thanks Tom for an excellent rebuttal. Good grief! And people wonder why obesity and diabetes are increasing exponentially??

  • I agree with you that exercise is, has been and always be the backbone of consistent sustained weight loss and health. Sure you can lose weight by doing nothing more than counting calories, but who really wants to live that way?Not only that, but there are many psychological and health benefits of regular exercise that the article completely glosses over. I really feel that regular exercise makes you totally commit to your weight loss plan. It requires you to push beyond your comfort zone and actually make some committed lifestyle changes. Not to mention the fact that a good old fashioned workout just feels great!

  • I wrote an e-mail to my list on this stupidly written article a couple days ago. How ignorant–and so many people take what is wrote in the garbage media like this as fact. This Cloud guy doesn’t have his head in the clouds–he has it placed a little farther south.Randy Woody

  • Rae

    THANK YOU for this !!! Honestly!

  • Boycie

    Hopefully there are enough people out there who realise that if you don’t eat properly and then you go and knock out an hour’s worth of exercise it IS obviously going to make you hungry…and there is a difference between quelling that hunger with a post-workout shake or a snack than chowing down on a Super-sized BK Whopper!!But how VERY irresponsible of Cloud to do this in an age where obesity is killing people and ruining lives, and when the last thing people need is an excuse NOT to exercise and something else to blame their obesity on! There are already stupid excuses enough with adding this one to the list!!!!

  • wow..speechlesswhatever happened to research prior to writing an article?

  • James Murphy

    Hi Tom,Thanks for your commitment to getting the balanced truth about health and fitness in front of people. It is an apparently sad truth that some (not all) journalist and media types, must spin information to the extremes of absurdity, in order to get their 15 min of fame. Even an uneducated person could easily deduce that some exercise is better than no exercise. Just plain ole common sense. Thanks again Tom!RespectfullyJames

  • Excellent response, and thanks for all your inspirational articles! That Time article really steamed me, and I almost emailed you about it but I knew hundreds of people would be bombing you with it.I’m not especially fat, and certainly not overweight, but recently I’ve been working on getting more toned and losing some pounds (made of FAT!) that have crept up on me. I did a lot of online research to give me ideas, but your message was one of the few consistent and sensible ones. It’s working for me too: I work out five days a week (alternating weights with push ups) and walk/bike even more than I did before. The FAT is leaving very gradually, maybe half a pound per week, and I feel fantastic.Unlike Mr. Cloud, though, I don’t “reward” myself with disgusting drinks, donuts, and pizza when I work out. He’s falling into that very sad trap of thinking like a fat person does about food. Donuts and pizza after a workout? Is he kidding? What kind of reward is that for a hard-working body that needs good nutrition? You said it best though. Thanks!

  • John Lynch

    What can i say But WELL DONE it’s about time someone told it how it is ie if you eat loads and sit on there bums there going to lets say get BIGGER. Good calorie diet and exercise in the long run will help to lose weight. Well done to all the people thats left notes; nice to Know there people out there with BrainsKind RegardsJohn Lynch

  • Great post. I lost whatever respect I had for the press a long time ago. I’m not surprised when they misrepresent information anymore. I expect it.

  • bud

    Shame on anyone who still reads Time Magazine, thatis one of the most liberal publications in modern times.You’re wasting your time, they ( time magazine ) don’teven know the truth. ” in my opinion “

  • Ron Aiello

    John Cloud is not to smart. If you exercise and eat in moderation you will lose weight. I weighed 224lbs. which was about 50lbs. to much. My son was going to Iraq for seven months with the Marines and I decided that while he was there I would stop drinking adult beverages, eat in moderation and healthier and to exercise at least 5 days a week.When my son returned 7 months later I weighed 174lbs. I drop 50lbs. without straining.John Cloud stop stuffing you mouth, maybe just keep it closed.

  • Angela

    What was Time magazine thinking when it let an i…. like John Cloud write an article like that – all they have succeeded in doing is tell the world that their journalists are completely dumb. Shame on you John Cloud for trying to convince others with your own stupidity!

  • bathory

    When I read the TIME magazine article I wanted to punch the writer in a big way. It was an entire article telling people to once again claim hostage status to their laziness.I can already hear the excuses!I’m pretty pissed at TIME right now. Great rebuttal.

  • Abe

    I have to thing the Time article was tongue-in-cheek and we may be over reacting. The benefits of exercise and proper diet are irrefutable and ‘common sense’. I thought the article was funny. Why try to improve yourself when your appetite and self-control will fight you all the way. The equivalent of why go to work when you know you will just spend the money foolishly. Why try when we believe life itself is futile. It is difficult to change people’s belief systems. A common notation from McDonald’s addicts maybe “I’ve been eating Big Mac’s all my life and I ain’t dead yet.” To paraphrase the late Dean Martin, “If you’re going to hit me with logic, I don’t want to chit-chat.”

  • Kim

    WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!

  • tom venuto

    abe, as I wrote in my post, i thought it was funny too – i couldnt help but laugh. it was THAT outrageousHowever, i dont think it was printed to be tongue in cheek.Furthermore, Time magazine and other mass media are seen as institutions and most people expect whatever is printed there to be the truth so they take it as truth. Gospel, even.also, if the ACSM sends out a call for action, you know LOTS of people are taking it very seriously.

  • Doug

    Tom–Thanks for your great rebuttal. John Cloud is just another shining example of the new breed of journalist trying to influence the American public instead of doing his job and report in an unbiased, factual fashion. I have never subscribed to the Times and with moronic reporting like this there must be a reason!!!Thanks to you and the other true health care pros for your consistant hard work.

  • Laura Monge

    My hips can tell anyone that exercise DOES work and you don’t have to starve yourself to death.From your newsletters I’ve learned about nutrition, exercise and goal-setting, thanks a lot Tom!

  • I get more hungry when I don’t excercise. Why? I don’t know:stress, being bored, hormones, no having an active life.The truth is that people who spend their life looking for something to blame don’t achieve anything.How many people can say “I’m fat because I exercise”? I think this is just ignorant and a way for this writer to justify his mediocrity, lazyness and lack of confidence.This is the mother of all dumb excuses

  • Amy R

    Thank you Tom for writing a thoughtful, logical and scientifically-based rebuttal to the idiocy that TIME published. Un-freaking believable! The truly sad thing is that a lot of people will read that article and use it as an excuse to stay on the couch. Unfortunately, it perpetuates the belief that obesity is something that somehow “happens to you” instead of is “caused by you”….classic victim mentality. Instead of taking responsibililty for the choices that they make, the article validated people’s misconceptions that their own health, weight and fitness is somehow out of their control. A true disservice and completely irresponsible. I hope TIME’s mailroom gets inundated with rebuttals.

  • BRAVO TOM. great rebuttal on the TRUTH OF THIS. typical of the main stream idiots to go on UNSUBSTANTIATED so-called facts that are twisted to support their positions. This is nothing new in the medical world of self proclaimed “Specialists”, who know more and more about less and less until they know EVERYTHING about NOTHING.I and countless other SHREDDERS….have just completed a SUCCESSFUL 12 week BURN THE FAT, BUILD THE MUSCLE transformation with FACTS, PICTURES, BASELINES and MICRO NUTRIENT calculations that prove your above rebuttal to be TRUE, and time’s statements to be FALSE.

  • Patricia

    “Excellent response! I had read the article in Time Magazine, and I was distressed at the effect it may have on readers. Apart from all the research to the contrary, that you so eloquently cited, exercise also increases self-esteem and body-image, which often leads to healthier food choices. I understand the masses of humanity looking for ‘magic’ weight loss, but if we could shift the emphasis to “health,” rather than weight loss alone, exercise will… and should always play a huge part in our lives. Booo to Time Magazine for this disservice!”

  • Exercise is movement, and movement is the best part about being alive. I consider even just mowing the lawn exercise, and can have fun doing it. It is just dumb to suggest we all sit around and do nothing all day.Moral of the story is, “do not believe every thing you read”Good job at explaining the calorie equation.

  • Nico Fourie

    I think it should be mandatory that people get a copy of BFFM when they join a gym so that they understand the basis of ensuring a calorie deficit during your day, to guarantee weight loss.I have been guilty of this myself, I was active and fit yet gained weight with every week that passed. Why? Because I ate 1000 calories right after every exercise session. I never lost weight. It was only after I realised with the help of BFFM, that I was actually on a calorie surplus every single day.Since then I’ve been able to steadily loose weight, I have lost 20 kg’s since January and I am looking better and better with each passing day.I must still plan, motivate and execute my daily goals and that ensures weight loss. Exercise is key to ensuring a well defined body.End of point.

  • Simon

    Where to start…Unfortunately if it was sooooo simple to loose weight, we wouldn’t need people like Tom to give us proper advice, now would we.Last winter I joined a hockey club (I’m Canadian after all! :D). First thing’s first, training, it was tough, but it increased endurance, strength, agility and it toned, me anyways, not most of the other guys… Why? Well, they decided to do the “man” thing after every event: beer, wings and fries! Too boot, the celery and carrot sticks were the only things untouched!I was hungry after the workout, but I knew what I had to do, and this was not it. I didn’t last long in the club because I wasn’t “one of the boys”. Even though I went out with them, I didn’t eat or drink what they did, so I couldn’t socialize with them, there was “no connection”…My idea of playing hockey was to do a different workout, and not screw my body over.Now, if this is the typical filler after a workout maybe this is a missing part of the article (100% of it most likely).All that John Cloud is doing is stirring the pot. Exercise is an essential PART of loosing weight, and not the end-all and be-all of it.

  • Hello Tom …THANK YOU ! A client came in alerting me to this article. I have fired off your post to her, and to ALL my clients !Scott Colby (The AbsExpert) had just written a timely blog stating that one of the most important “meals” was post-workout …. ties in perfectly with everything you state.Again … thanks for your articulate and well-researched re-buttal.I eagerly await an appology from Time Magazine !Marguerite

  • mel

    I saw the article and noted how misleading it was as well. Misinformation, when their headline screams exercise isn’t effective againist weight loss. But, these days I have come to recognize the media as agendists and/or propagandists. I appreciate your taking the time to call them on it.:-)

  • lori

    Time magazine has obviously lowered their standards. Then again – who hasn’t? …..too bad (for them and for us).

  • Love this article!! A lot of people are still under the impression that you only have to do one, diet -or- exercise, to lose weight. You could, but it’ll take longer! The key to true weight loss and maintenance is really to change your lifestyle. If you want to change your body, you have to change your life, just as you’ve been informing us through your book and your blog. Your post has a lot of great references and insight, and keeps me motivated to continue strength training and aerobic exercise! Hmm, I wonder if John Cloud has skinny-fat syndrome…

  • Grace wrote:hmm, i wonder if john cloud has skinny fat syndrome…grace, HE DOES! In his own words: “…my weight has returned to the same 163 lbs… I still have that gut fat hang over my belt when i sit.”

  • Don

    Tom,Thank you for the update. Seeing the popular media distort the facts seems to be par for the course.Don

  • Cheryl

    Way to go, Tom.You said it perfectly, as usual.We are lucky to have you out there.You rock!Cheryl

  • Sarah

    John Cloud -Thank you for allowing the, “Generation of Excuses and Complacency,” to be heard! We live in the, “information era,” and we still want an excuse to remain unacounable for all of our actions despite the abundance of research and information at our fingertips!If it is too hard – don’t do it. If it asks for consistency, work, and determination with some studying from reputable resources – run fast (or crawl if you don’t want to expend the energy). Why not just (literally) drop into the Emergency Room to visit me when your body goes on strike from self-neglect.After an hour of attempting to resuscitate you (and all those you just discouraged from maintaining a healthy life-style) from a lifetime of negligence, I’ll tell your family and loved ones that you loved them less than a work-out and a Big-Mac. In end – your actions influence those who care for you most. How SELFISH – and shame on you for misleading the public!!(Thank you for keeping others out of the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Units, Tom!)

  • BigMike

    Tom, why are you not known by everyone in this country?? You are by far the foremost authority in all things nutrition & exercise, and I will take personal satisfaction the day I see you on TV getting the recognition you deserve.The diet industry needs a reality check. And that reality check is Tom. Time to start making “Team Venuto” tanktops, Tom.

  • Bill Jeffrey

    Hi Tom,First, thanks for everything (this is my first post anywhere on this site).Second, Your help with self-image was crucial to my ongoing development.Third, your comments about the Time article brought to mind a possible expansion of working with one’s self image. I realized my limits were not only built into my accidentally formed self-image, but my accidentally formed world-view. I have begun to realize that I have a “tape loop” running in my head that says “This is who I am; this is how the world is.” (Not my original concept, but one spoken of by Ram Dass/Richard Alpert.)Time magazine and all other media put forth their view of reality. That is okay; we have a 1st Amendment. What we have to do is to carefully filter the information or just opt out of being in contact with it. We are responsible for what we believe, because we act on our beliefs.I disconnected my TV six months before the USA went digital and now use it only for DVD’s and video tapes. Besides my IQ recovering to birth level, my blood pressure probably went down. With my newly found time, I have been thinking for myself more and reading more. (Which is how I got to renovating my health and body.)Since I have to do my own thinking and verifying,my world view also has changed to one that is saner and more accurate.I didn’t shoot my TV like Elvis did, but it might not be a bad idea.Thanks again, Tom, and “Hi” to all.

  • A J S

    Good Job Tom.It is distressing to see media cherry picking scientific research to make their point. As a Scientist with more than 15 yrs of experience, I do not pay attention to such articles as you can twist any piece of data to substantiate your claim. In this rebuttal, you have done an excellent job. Your articles are always very scientific, much better than the studies relied upon by these newsmakers.I can personally attest that following your scientific approach to losing fat, I lost more than 30 pounds and have kept it off for more than 2 yrs now. I do HIIT as much as I can and I am no more hungry than when I skip exercise. In fact, exercise gives me psychological boost and will power to stick to healthy eating.Thanks

  • Dave schulz

    Thanks, Tom. I am an ACSM trainer and have followed your work for nearly 8 yrs now. I am really glad to read this email; I received the same ACSM letter this week. Thanks for supporting the cause and being such a leader in our industry.Best,Dave SchulzeACSM-CPT

  • Rob

    Tom thanks, I think that a lot of people within society Cloud included look to make excuses for why exercise does not work. Bottom line what you put in is what you’ll get out. He didn’t do his homework and in my opinion this was bad journalism at it best!

  • THANK-YOU Tom!Here here Sarah! Accountability and “thinking” about our intake.I too was dismayed at the article, and perplexed by the thought.I just lost 75lbs by weight training and HIIT PLUS clean eating, I’m always thinking about what goes in my body and that is key…period! I do allow a treat once per week but it is planned.No one said it will be easy, it is determination, perseverance and discipline!After reading your article Tom, I still know I’m on the right path, Thanks again!

  • Fenella Pearson

    Cloud’s article completely put me off buying Time magazine; never have done, never will. Do you know anybody who would believe this pile of ****e? Nothing works as well as resistance training & interval training (preferably at the same time) for weight loss. Perhaps Cloud knows about some magic pill that nobody’s heard of?

  • Sharon

    You said it!!! Not only does vigorous exercise reduce my appetite, I get physically SICK if I eat within an hour after getting off the treadmill.Just another example of the rampant stupidity in our society.

  • Dan

    Great response to an imbecilic article. Good stuff Tom.

  • Cathy Alexander

    Thanks for the comments, Tom! However, I think that you should have kept your original title of “Why John Cloud and the editors of Time Magazine are idiots”! 🙂

  • Miguel

    Tom,Well stated Tom! I agree 100% with your reply on that ridiculous article masterminded by people who are just looking for excuses to stay fat and unhealthy. When I began my new eating habits over 4 years ago I significantly reached goals that otherwise would have been unreachable if I had not cut my caloric intake. I lost 35 pounds of fat and gained 35 pounds of muscle with hard work and determination. Of course, I began my new lifestyle with the notion that Rome was not built in a day. Due to the fact that I had pigged out for years it took me longer to see results, but eventually they became visible. One thing that I did at the beginning of my fat loss phase was I ate a good meal about a couple of hours before I hit the gym and my post workout meal consisted of a salad with low fat dressing. I am 40 years old, have a 33 inch waist, am lean and muscular and am damn proud of how good I look. People, cardio and weight training do work! I am living proof of that! One thing I didn’t do is pig out after my workouts, which is the reason I lost the weight. Exercise is essential to losing weight, so these so called masterminds of negativity have been proven wrong once again!

  • Helene

    Great response.I read this TIME article and was dismayed, it’s already so difficult to get people motivated, this kind of irresponsible “journalism” should not be allowed. All I know is whenever I fall off the exercise bandwagon, I inevitably feel worse and fatter. Period. Weight training has allowed me to grow older gracefully and with strength.

  • WOW!This is upsetting, and you are not the only one who is upset by this article. I see many in the fitness blogging world that are upset too, myself included.My clients both online and in the gym struggle enough to lose weight and keep it off without this crap!The bottom line is that proper exercise and fitness training changes lives everyday all over the world.Like you I work to fight this information. I spend a great deal of time creating free fitness videos at my blogsite to help people at: fighting the good fight!Jason Chiero, CPT

  • karina

    John Cloud,If you’re that hungry after exercise, I have the perfect appetite suppressant for “YOU”…it’s called “the element which brings forth life” (a.k.a.) “WATER”! Consuming it has been known to prevent “CLOUDING” ones mind with overall poor choices.Perhaps you should take some “TIME” John… reconsider what you said.Don’t be afraid to “EXERCISE” your right to admit your wrong! We all make mistakes.Living longer =’s more “TIME”…if you want more time to live John….I suggest you start eating “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” and oh yeah….EXERCISE…you don’t want to get caught up in the “CLOUDS” before your “TIME”!-Karina

  • karina

    Tom,You should tell John Cloud to change his name to John Dough if he’s just going to give up on himself…oh and have you suggested he try a mini coarse as opposed to pigging -out? But if he insists on eating an elephant…tell him he should eat it one bite at a time…and chew “SSSLLLOWWWLYY”!!!-Karina (:

    • Karina Cerda

      Tom 🙂 If you ever by some miracle happen to go through your hot classified posts 🙂 I just want to say *HAPPY ANNIVERSARY* . I am so glad that you wrote this post.As I write this ,I pray that some day I will uncover the identity of *MY MYSTERY BODY BUILDER* .Just so you know , he is an undercover body builder.I do not know what his name is but he lives on a *CLOUD* (: more importantly however,God bless you for taking the *TIME* to transform your Burn The Fat ,Feed The Muscle Book into an actual book that I can hold in my arms.Your books and website have been a *LIFE SAVING BLESSING* in my life. There are not enough words to express my gratitude for your work.Because of you ,I am a much stronger person physically , spiritually and psychologically.Thank you for restoring my *LIFE* ,my *HEALTH* and my *FAITH*.
      *Karina Cerda*

  • Hi Tom,Its articles like this that made me become a personal trainer. With all the conflicting or just plane wrong information floating around there, it is no wonder why so many people have a hard time losing weight. I used to be 70lbs overweight and it was really hard to lose it because I didn’t know what to do. So now I help those that really want to lose weight by giving them only the info that is proven to work and not just temporarily.Keep up the good work

  • eduardo

    “Another ill-informed media journalist how shocking ( where is the sarcastic smiley when you need one). Good job of rebutting Clouds nonsense Tom.”

  • Sajesh

    Simple and straight: even if you feel hungry, and you should eat, there are a whole bunch of food which are good (wrt the amount of calories you get into your system Vs the volume you fill!!). My gym instructor in fact suggested drinking lots of fluids which rehydrates you. It should be noted that thirst actually pretty much easily gets pulled of as hunger (So i read fromt eh bulletin of my work place!). The fact that one muffin and a doguhnut can fill the calorie deficit caused should be a warning sign that if need be tatooed on your arm.

  • avb

    amazing rebuttal Tom!I often find that after a particularly intense workout my appetite is completely suppressed. I’m on a gaining phase right now so sometimes I have to force myself to eat a meal to keep up my calorie surplus…so I can definitely vouch for exercise causing appetite suppression!Hopefully that Time article won’t have too much of an impact and people will continue to focus on combination of diet and exercise to achieve a healthy weight and their fitness goals…

  • Darren

    Well said Tom, it was the COVER article down here in Australia! Lost a lot of respect for this publication I must say, not sure I will buy it again. Enjoyed many of the other clever posts too. I enjoy your work Tom

  • Hey Tom – Great blog and I’m just shaking my head at the audacity Mr Cloud has displayed in publishing an article like that… and they actually let it go to print!My goodness.. are there not enough real life living proof examples to pick from? And exercise isn’t just essential for fat loss. The physiological effects on the body are amazing in reducing depression, improving skin tone, improving cardio-vascular endurance, strengthening the heart, bones, and skeletal muscles, among countless other benefits.EXERCISE IS THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, and we best take it seriously if we don’t want the economy to take another nose-dive due to the unbearable cost of health care as the Baby Boomers start entering into their twilight years.We have to stay young and healthy and we are changing the way we regard aging, due to our more active lifestyles well into later years.Maxine Johnson”Fifty-Something”Mother of 3National NPC CompetitorPersonal Trainer & Wellness

  • james

    Exercise has never made me hungry in itself. For me, it’s just about time. If I skipped breakfast, it didn’t matter what I was doing. I was ready to hit any drive- thru come noon.I also find when I’m exercising regularly, my cravings aren’t for sugary junk. So I make better choices.

  • Leith

    I tend to lose track of time, get caught up in adventure and take a 5-6 hour bike ride through mountain terrain. After such an intense work out I usually come home and crave a massive kilojoule intake which is only natural after such an expenditure.BUT on a normal day, if I am cutting, I find if I get hungry and tempted to eat before I should then I will go for some exercise. Cardio is great for taking your mind off eating which leads to “suppressing” the appetite.If your energy deficit isn’t over the top then appetite is easy to control. Starve yourself and train too much and your body WILL fight you!

  • Well that was a really good post. Glad we are on the same side. LOL I made a lifestyle change 6, almost 7 years ago. There is a short version on my website under my story at .Exercise decreased my appetite. It also makes me think of how hard I work before I eat something not so healthy. Weight training definitely reduces fat and gains muscle. There is much more to living healthy than just weights, or cardio or even diet. You have to be educated and do a balance of everything.Tom, thank-you for what you do and I have been using your formula that was in one of your emails to show clients the amount of body fat versus lean muscle mass. And it is truly working and motivating my clients. I used to use weight and body fat only but you never knew if they were truly losing fat or muscle. Keep up the great work and God Bless!

  • Kimberly

    “Awesome rebuttal Tom! For those who would like to send their feedback to the editor of TIME, here is the e-mail address:

  • CoastalGuy

    Tom, if I’ve learned anything from you in the months of following your blog entries, it is this, “The only way to lose the fat from your system is through a calorie deficit.”I reached the TIME article through another means yesterday and shook my head wondering if people turn off their minds and then actually read this drivel. I came away with several conclusions.1) Health studies usually end up finding results compatible with the ends of the ones funding the studies. (If they don’t, they never see the light of day.)2) Comfort eating is exactly the reason people end up fat in the first place. If you don’t learn to control yourself, nothing is going to remove the excess fat from your body.3) Cardio and weight-bearing exercise are the BEST ways to maintain a healthy body — and mind, I might add. Improving your circulatory system, pumping the muscles and building healthy bone structure is increasingly important as we age.4) TIME magazine has been, and still is, a sensational rag not worth the time to breeze through its mind-numbing articles at a newsstand or grocery store. I put it in the same category as the Hollywood Star, and People Magazine.’Nuff said.FH

  • Here we go again… a so called expert gives his opinion on something he doesn’t know anything about and lazy people out there follow him. It seems as though people take fitness as a joke because they don’t know the science behind the whole thing. It is through this pseudo logic that our society is suffering because of obesisty.

  • scott davis

    Whenever I partake in high intensity cardio, such as going for a six-mile run, my appetite is suppressed for the ensuing three hour period. Only after that, will I begin to feel peckish. Assuming my calorie deficit is not too high, I can readily manage my appetite. If the dispartity is too great, then I expereince ravenous hunger pains.For me, getting the calorie deficit “just right” is the difference maker for long term sustainability. Exercise is an integral part of that equation.

  • Deb

    Tom, I love you. I had read this article a few days ago and just shook my head thinking, “Just what America needs; another excuse to keep sitting on its can.” Thanks for all you do every day.

  • karia

    When you find a product you believe in “YOU STAND UP AND DEFEND IT”….when you find a person you believe in ……”YOU DO THE SAME”!!!…Let your fingers to the walking and “SWEAT SOME BLOOD ” for TOM …”WRITE THOSE LETTERS PEOPLE”. We all owe TOM.

  • black

    Black made a comment about your link:”Having participated in Fat-Friendly websites in the past, I fervently wish people like John Cloud would stop providing excuses for the obese and morbidly obese to NOT improve their lives. John Cloud’s article is nothing but excuse-mongering and hope-dashing to people who are suffering and looking for solutions. Instead, they get excuses: no use in exercizing, no use in “dieting,” nothing works and you’re doomed, so might as well be happy.I’ve seen so many people in these communities get downright ANGRY when someone suggests that even fat people should get some exercise in order to maintain (if not improve) their health. It’s so frustrating, how often these men and women are lied to by “experts” who are only looking for profit.”

  • jm

    glad to see that this article affected others like it did me

  • Sid Ban

    I think it is important not to call someone an “idiot” or show disrespect for an opinion we disagree with.Invariably the other person takes it personally and angry thoughts and emotional disturbance is the result? Is that what we want? Or, would it be more peaceful and pleasant for people in this world to state their opinion in a courteous but comprehensive way. I admire President Obama for his courteous manner of presentation of information to consider and perhaps someday his diplomacy will be taught in schools so that we do not degrade others by referring to them as “stupid” or “idiots.” This is not to say that I do not accept what Tom has diligently researched and conveyed to the public as I believe he had been a benefactor to many people who have profited from his advise. But, we need to think about a new forum of disagreeing in which opinions can be given without disrespecting the dignity of others. I find it disheartening that so many of us have been conditioned to “putting others in their place” because they disagree with what we believe to be absolute truth. Yet, can we be sure that our “informed” opinion is the last word? Has that been the case with medicine or scientific development? And, what about nutrition? One authority tells us what is good for us and then the next one has a different opinion, is that not true? And what about those doctors who told us vitamins and exercise was harmful and that what we needed was to take a smoking break? I have lived a fair amount of time to say that I may accept an opinion from research at the moment but moments change and so do opinions. This is true about so many subjects, is it not?

  • Kevin

    A well thought out and intelligently constructed “heads up” to TIME. Mr Cloud should think about closing his “cake hole” with a liitle self discipline. Also, at what stage of his physical activity is he at? Muscle density outweighs fat and I do not think that weight loss is the only factor to consider as a benefit. Far from it! Exercise is a massive plus. Personal experince is that I cannot even think of eating after training. I have to force myself to do it.Mr Venuto, you never cease to surprise me with your cold factual logic. Go man go!

  • sid wroteI think it is important not to call someone an “idiot” or show disrespect for an opinion we disagree with. I do agree with you and appreciate you saying this. If you look at my history of posts, i have written respectfully on every area in health and nutrition where there are two sides and room for debate.But in this case , a journalist has been given the power to write for a publication with a circulation of 3.3 million. Everyone is entitled to his opinion. however, mass media journalists should have a responsibility to do their homework and present the facts, hopefully in a way that will help people. cloud has not merely given us an opinion that can be agreed or disagreed with, I believe he has made blatant misrepresentation of the facts. He not only cherry picked his studies, he cherry picked FROM the studies he cherry picked!Further, we could probably argue that the editors of the magazine have allowed this in order to create controversy just to sell magazines. My personal feelings are that cloud and time do not deserve respect for this piece of writing becaues of the damage it could cause to readers who dont know better. someone should call them out, without having to put the kid gloves on.Yet, can we be sure that our “informed” opinion is the last word? Has that been the case with medicine or scientific development? And, what about nutrition? One authority tells us what is good for us and then the next one has a different opinion, is that not true? You are correct- authorities are wrong all the time. Thats why we give evidence and cite sources – peer reviewed research. i dont think ive merely offered my opinion, i have offered the facts and cited my sources for everything I wrote. See my list of references please and read the studies yourself. If I give my opinoin, I say its my opinion and i dont try to pass it off as fact. If there were only one study on a subject or the area had just begun to be researched, that is one thing; here we have dozens of studies which have investigated this subject from every possible angle.If cloud wanted to make the point that exercise cant help you lose weight if your diet sucks, he could have just said that, but instead of making an argument for good nutrition, he made one against exercise. he picked the wrong argument.

  • eduardo rosa

    Just by seeing the title of that article, I did not stop laughing. Ignorant people just want to be seen. That’s all they want.

  • melissa daly

    “No wonder we are an obese nation. Misinformation in our magazines, on our TV’s, on our Food Labels, ect. Which is why we are grateful for people like Tom, you have helped transform peoples thoughts and bodies. Thank you for not keeping quit !”

  • Jim

    Well, I guess I’ll be the only guy to make an “alternative” comment. First, Tom I don’t disagree with your rebuttal. And I for one am a huge exercise fanatic. But, John Cloud has some good points (not just his opinions, he does cite other sources). And the fact of the matter is, that in the real world. people often over-compensate when they exercise. They think to themselves they’ve just worked their butt off today, and they can afford to have that extra helping of whatever at dinner time. Or a dish of ice cream they might not otherwise have. In the real world, that’s what actually happens to the rank and file (I’m not talking about those of us who have managed to make it over to “the other side” of clean eating/living and are nutritionally aware, etc.).Obviously some dietary restraint is necessary, but that’s not what’s happening. And that’s all John Cloud is saying. And he’s right on that point.

  • Tom,Great post and I do agree with the spirit of your conclusion. There’s definitely a lot to disagree with in this article.That said, I want to play devil’s advocate for a moment.We’re used to thinking in terms of a complete picture; it doesn’t make sense to say you and I to think of exercising without dieting (or vice versa) if the goal is weight loss or changes in body composition.But consider the average person out there. How many “average folks” are there that think they can go run around the block or go jogging for a half hour, then come home and eat a pizza and a box of donuts?I’d suggest that this would happen regardless of any real impact on appetite. We know, for example, that overweight people already tend to under-report their calorie intake.To the average person falling into this category, as most will, exercise really is overrated – simply because this person is almost certainly not following a proper diet to begin with, if they’re even considering the role of nutrition.Add to that the “permission” that exercising gives to eat more food, and you just might have a problem on your hands.Of course, I’m in complete agreement that discouraging exercise is most certainly not the remedy. But I do think there is something to the basic premise, which is that exercise alone is not the fix-all solution it’s sometimes seen as.Yeah, that should be a “duh” conclusion, but to a lot of people it isn’t.The solution is obviously better education with regards to the roles of both nutrition and exercise, but ironically things like this are making it more difficult.

  • I share your view that John articles is one sided. John is fully ignorant. Is like a person who do not know how to drive a car and said the car cannot move. Exercise & diet need to be going hand in hand to make weight loss effective. It takes special knowledge & know how to make the right adjustment to get it working. If it is so easy, people will not value our expertise. People is willing to pay us for our advice.There are many ways that you can control the diet plan to ensure that one hunger would be reduce & burn more fats such as controlling the simple carbohydrates intake, increase the fiber intake, selective on food with proper glycemic index.Not only exercise is important in a healthy weight loss program. It also improve health & energy level of our daily life. I hope that people without adequate knowledge in nutrition & exercise will not believe into his ignorant think.It is great that you have put a great effort in writing this article to educate people that started to create doubtful mind after reading the Times magazine. It is a shame that they just conclude that exercise do not work and not spending enough of research into how to get it work by equipping with the right information & knowledge.We need more people like to to advocate the right attitude. Good job. Keep posting !

  • Sid Ban makes some good points about stating our convictions with dignity and consideration of others. I agree.However, that is not to say that outlandish statements don’t call for a certain rebuttal in kind. After all, what kind of a person would it be that could respond to deaths caused by drunk driving by saying, “Gee, that’s too bad”? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the sorrow?I applaud the comments on this blog. I’m not sure how carefully they are moderated, but profanity has been lacking, as have vulgarity and gratuitous insults. If anything, the comments are more restrained than the subject would require!I credit Tom Venuto with showing me the difference between fat loss and weight loss, something that the Time article conveniently overlooked. I judge any comments made by anyone on “weight loss” by whether or not they make this distinction. The failure to do so means they are no smarter than I am!Tom, keep it up!

  • I groaned when I saw the cover.The article should have been titled “Why people are too stupid to lose weight”.That article will cause more stupid people to give up on exercise entirely.

  • Dee

    You, dear Tom, are a better journalist than Mr. Cloud. Thank you for your insightful and well documented post. I hope that John Cloud reads this.And thank you for this … “Dietary restraint means that if you want to lose weight, sometimes you have to feel hungry and NOT EAT! (even while stressed, emotional, tempted, etc.)This takes work, and part of that work is to practice the self-discipline to not eat every time you feel the urge and to pursue the self-education to understand the realities of the energy balance equation.”Please, please keep telling people this… Dietary restraint is indeed a discipline. Thank YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…P.S. Your book, “The Body Fat Solution” is phenomenal.

  • to Jim and Matt Pthanks for the ‘devils advocate viewpoints.”matt wroteOf course, I’m in complete agreement that discouraging exercise is most certainly not the remedy. But I do think there is something to the basic premise, which is that exercise alone is not the fix-all solution it’s sometimes seen as. Yeah, that should be a “duh” conclusion, but to a lot of people it isn’t. agreed; and in my latest book I pointed that out on page 134 – in particular that conventional aerobic type of exercise doesn’t burn as many calories as people think, so its quite easy to over-estmate calories burned and then out-eat the exercise. intense exercise and weight training of course are another story.The solution is obviously better education with regards to the roles of both nutrition and exercise, but ironically things like this are making it more difficult. yes, agreed again, and not only emphasizing education on BOTH sides of the energy balance equation – training/calories out plus nutrition/calories in, but I believe that if the education actually takes focus OFF of favoring either side (ie, “nutrition is 80% or “training is the end all be all” etc), and puts the focus on the calorie deficit and how to achieve a calorie deficit and how to maintain a calorie deficit through continuous feedback and program adjustments, that will be the best education solution of all. Most people just dont understand (or dont believe in) the energy balance math equation and how simple it is (not always easy to apply,but simple to understand).tomPS matt, btw, just started looking at your book, via steve T. who told me about it. good stuff.

  • melanie

    Love, love, love your burn the fat blogs. Just got your book the body fat solution as a birthday gift. Absolutely the best fitness & nutrition advice out there. Thanks for keeping it real.~ Melanie

  • Jeanne Douthit

    Does an article really need to be written to prove that you get hungry after exercise? Of course you are hungry, your body is giving a signal that it needs re-fueled!!! As many have already stated, it is not license to eat whatever you want! The problem with this frame of thought is the same problem that I see with client after client…you have to change your LIFESTYLE…period. To approach exercise like most approach the ” diet-pill” is a huge mistake! I am afraid that Mr. Cloud made the mistake of ignorance in this case. Maybe he doesn’t know that exercise is beneficial for more than weight loss, but also serves the purpose of regulating hormone levels, building and maintaining bone density, and increasing our ability to deal with the daily stresses of life. I’m so sorry Mr. Cloud didn’t have the benefit of knowledge. I know that he would have never written that article had he known the whole truth about exercise. You can not separate the benefits of exercise and isolate hunger as the sole reason for not exercising. In a society where obesity is so prevelant, I can’t believe anyone would discourage exercise. I know that exercise is not always pleasant or convienant for everybody, but it IS essential for overall health and well being. As a Medical Exercise Specialist, I know what we all need to realize….society as a whole, needs to start approaching exercise as we would a round of antibiotics!!! Eat and live to LIVE…not live to eat!!!

  • Michelle Levasseur

    After spending yesterday in Disneyland and seeing hundreds of morbidly obese people walking around, the only consolation I had was knowing that they are walking around all day and burning lots of calories – through exercise! Thanks for your article, Tom.

  • Bettina

    thank’s so much Tom! when I read time magazine article I was like “this is the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard! ” dieting alone does not work, working out is the key I’ve already lost 25 pounds…. greetings from Italy!!Bettina

  • Vikki S

    As a rehab doctor, I have had patients who really cannot activate enough skeletal muscle to significantly exercise lose some weight by diet alone – one by just swtiching whole to 2% milk, and another enough to stave off type II diabetes!But in my own weight loss efforts, I did the math and realized I was losing quite a bit of muscle along with the fat, and stepped up my exercise program to counteract that. I have to lift or transfer patients at times adn found that by exercising I got all my stength back and even got a little stronger than I was before – I used to have trouble getting heavy bags into an overhead compartment, but now I can do it.I do remember occasions where exercise (e.g. a long hike) did increase my appetite, and when I just exercised without watching my diet, I became a little more fit but did not lose weight. I also cannot fast or go hungry very much for various medical reasons, so what I do is fill up on lower caloric density high ifber food if I find my appetite in the stratosphere. Nowadays that does not seem to depend on how much exercise I have done – mostly I am thirsty, not hungry after a workout- hmm, maybe that’s a key for a lot of people -but more related to stress and hormones.I do recommend exercise to preserve muscle mass when losing weight if at all possible. Exercise has health benefit in any event; greater fitness makes a person less likely to lose mobility and self-care ability as they age to the point of needing assisted living (an unbelieveably expensive proposition!!) if nothing else.

  • Colleen

    I have been working out 7 days a week, typically 90 minutes a workout for the last 7 weeks. I have only lost 3 pounds, HOWEVER, I have been using weights and my body has lost fat even though my scale doesn’t know it. I am getting back into my smaller sizes, my arms look so much better and I can finally do a push up! I feel as though I am in very good shape with much better muscle definition. Now that my muscle mass has built up, I think the fat loss will begin to show on the scale as I continue to work out. I am one who definitly needs to watch food but the exercise is also a very important factor for a healthy body. I read the Time article while in line at the grocery store and it almost brought me down. When you work really hard, you don’t need anyone telling you it is all for naught. It sends a very wrong message to our ‘growing’ society.

  • GREAT article, Tom. Crucially needed, as well. I was almost too disgusted to get through that truly asinine Time Magazine article just knowing how many layfolk will ditch their exercise after reading it.

  • Max

    I think most of the fitness industry (mainly magazines, most supplements, “health” foods packed with high fructose corn syrup, etc) doesn’t give a damn about getting anyone healthier. The Time article is the result of someone realizing that those guys are lying to them. It’s a shame that every personal trainer worth their salary has to reverse the brainwashing that the vast majority of people are subjected to.oh well. I guess it just means I have to wait less for the squat rack.

  • Tony R.

    What floors me is that this article made the cover of the TIME issue that it appeared in. Someone help me understand how an editor can be so clueless as to think that this article was in any way thorough? How can any respectable journalistic publication in this day and age support a message like “exercise might make you hungry and could make you gain weight?” How much more justification do people who already struggle to eat well and get more healthful activitiy into their live need to instead sit on their backsides and eat fast food? It is quite simply beyond me, and quite frankly, it’s borderline irresponsible and reckless in my view.I think TIME needs to give someone the opportunity to rebut this article in their publication with another article taking a counter-point. Tom… Give them a call my friend… 🙂

  • john J Castellari

    Thanks again Tom for returning logic and fact based thinking to the debate. As someone who was raised in a family of career journalists, I am horrified by the intellectual paucity of Time magazine’s report. When will today’s reporters drop the sensationalist, “we think for you” pap and instead present the information factually and accurately so we can decide for ourselves?

  • Jeanne

    Thanks for a great rebuttal. The only thing missing was a link to Time Magazine so we can tell the editor how disappointed we are with an article which insults anyone with common sense, could be detrimental to health, and completely undermines the magazine’s credibility.

  • Bill Halverson

    TIME has been getting it wrong for decades and I am so glad individuals like you have the guts to tell them the truth. In my opinion the reason TIME would have one of their robots (writers) put forth such an idiotic concept as this comes back to who owns this magazine and who are some of the main advertisers. Try Eli Lily (pharmaceutical company) and many others of this ilk. What do they have to gain if more Americans get fat and suffer physical problems and disease? How about more money in their pocket from selling more pharmaceutical drugs from the doctors who are in their pocket! Wake up America we are in a war for our intelligence, freedom and now more than ever our HEALTH.

  • Should we all also assume reading makes people less intelligent?Quite a redundant article. I mean honestly, if exercise made people gain weight, how does he explain all the professional athletes?By his reasoning, they should be flabby.

  • John Mulcahy

    In line with your “can’t outtrain a bad diet”, Craig Ballantyne, who also says this frequently, has posted 4 You Tube videos titled DIET vs Exercise in which he demonstrates that you indeed cannot outtrain a bad diet.Thanks for setting irresponsible reporting right.

  • gary g abrams

    In these days of “one-stop-do-it-all-here” places, everybody is now jumping on the bandwagon of having to say something about some activity that is none of their business. For instance: this article in TIME. Have you ever seen anything about the latest world rumblings and recessions in fitness magazines, HUH? NO. Why? Because it is not about fitness. TIME is about politics, so they together with John Cloud must stick to that and leave the fitness stuff for the pros. Eish!

  • Willem

    Great article!Imagine going to your docter for advice: “I started working out recently, but now I notice that I have also started to eat more. What should I do doc, eat a little less or quit working out?”Please don’t tell me that that question does not answer itself!

  • Irene

    Love you rebutal Tom. I think there also is room for a coment on hunger versus apetite. We often mistake things like thirst, social expertations, ‘reward’ and so on for hunger. Hunger being the physiological need to eat while apetite is initiated by the mindset of rewarding oneself for an effort, social pressure or just the visual presence of lovely food, candy and so on. That it’s easy to take a reward-meal (with a calorycount worty a dinner) and then go home and eat dinner as usual will naturally lead to a surplus as already pointed out. This is even easier if the meals are unevenly spaced like when training close to regular dinnertime without having a snack beforehand (both hunger and appetite signals- then serious willpower is required). He didn’t include that to the equation either, did he.

  • Dallin

    I have found personally that excersize has helped me with my sugar cravings. When I was overweight, one of my problems was that everytime I got stressed or upset I would watch a movie and eat lots of chocolate because it made me feel good. It would increase my endorphins. Now, when I get stressed I simply put a movie and watch it while I bike for an hour on my stationary bike. This increases my endorphins, gives me a high and makes me feel much better about myself.

  • kathy

    Let me be the first to donate $1 to the John Cloud Fitness Education Fund. If we can raise $39 more we can send him a copy of BFFM.

  • Excellent article, Tom. And great comments from everyone!The problem with the TIME article is that the unknowing reader will conclude that exercise is bad for you, so “I shouldn’t do it,” which as Maxine put so well, is one of the worst frames of mind to have from so many health and fitness perspectives.Modern research and journalism should be confirming the fundamental principles and universal truths that we have known as facts all along, not cherry-picking research for good journalism and marketing hype.I’m hoping for an apology from TIME…

  • Hey Tom. I knew I could count on you to write a highly effective rebuttal to Time’s crap! I hope this gets around the world and millions read this, before Time corrupts them.I am a huge weight loss success story, and exercise was the primary factor for my 80lb drop. Of course I had to manage what I ate and how much, but thanks to exercise, I was able to have my cake and eat it – in moderation of course – and still drop the pounds. I also agree, being religious about my workouts compelled me to eat healthy. I guess I am lucky in the regard I do not feel hungry even when I do twice daily intense cardio sessions. I would also mention that it was in fact your book that helped me cut through the infinite crap out there in the mainstream media!An item of note I found amusing, is Cloud complains that a 130 cal bottle of gatorade will erase his one-hour jog. Well, how hard can the dude be jogging if he only burns 130 calories in an hour.

  • Howard

    The relationship between exercise and appetite is not complex at all.If we don’t have enough energy, there will be a message telling us to eat. If we have already eaten enough, then appetite will not increase.

  • Howard wroteThe relationship between exercise and appetite is not complex at all. If we don’t have enough energy, there will be a message telling us to eat. If we have already eaten enough, then appetite will not increase.We are both right, depending on your perspective howard. When there is an energy deficit, your body will stimulate appetite. Simple enough right?When you investigate HOW appetite is stimulated (or suppressed), you see that the mechanisms are mind boggling in complexity with regards to the mechanisms; look up hormones like ghrelin, leptin, CCK, PYY, GLP-1 for example.There are scientists who devote their entire specialty to hunger/appetite and there is a peer reviewed journal dedicated to same.I just read an acadamic textbook on the subject, Appetite and food intake:Behavioral and physiological considerations (Harris & Mattes) and all you have to do is crack one of these books open to see how complex it really is.If you want to say appetite is simple subject, you can, but that would be same as saying weight loss is simple – just eat less than you burn. That is true, but too much of an oversimplification to really understand the subject enough to help people in the real world.I know nutrition and weight loss experts whose advice is eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you are full. It would be nice if we could stop there, just as it would be nice if we could say eat fewer calories than you burn and you will lose weight. But we cant stop there, as articles like this one by Time magazine so clearly demonstrate. Knowledge is power and education is essential.

  • Kevin Eskew

    Thank you Mr. Venuto. It is so nice to hear an intelligent and researched response instead of an offensive remark by a meat-head that only knows what he has learned at the local gym.

  • Galina

    Interesting that the artcle in Times attracted so much attention. I see the discussions over this article popping up everywhere. And that is when we all know that 99% of information in the publicaton like Times’ is ridicilous. And even if sometimes the appetite increases after the excersice an educated person would know what to eat, so anyone reading this article would say to this guy not to stuff himself. People who know about excersice and proper nutrition would never pay attention to it and those who look for excuses not to exercise will embrace it. Why such a commotion?

  • Excellent response Tom!

  • Bob Parr

    Hello, Mr. Venuto. Leigh Peele posted a link to this, and it really is an excellent rebuttal. I hope Time publishes it in their Letters section. Unless it was an attempt to stir up controversy, I am confused as to why they would publish such an error-filled mess of an article. If Mr. Cloud’s idea of proper post-workout nutrition is blueberry muffins, he has no basis to call himself a fitness journalist. What’s next? Maybe Time should commission Tracy Anderson to write an article about how low-intensity weight training re-knits the deep muscular system and alters one’s genetics! It is truly sad that Time has apparently descended to the journalistic level of Star or National Enquirer!

  • Miriam

    Dear Tom,I am so happy to read your rebuttal because I read the Time article and wondered ” What does Tom think about this?!?”I stopped believing anything that John Cloud said after he wrote that you can turn FAT INTO MUSCLE! I lost total respect for anything he had to say after that.I have BFFM and also your latest book and you have the most balanced and straightforward approach to your work.The reason you are not as well known as we all think you should be is because most people out there want to hear and buy the quick fix junk and that is what gets promoted more.Although….if you got yourself on Oprah, well that would be all she wrote…..hmmmm. You’d be a superstar. But hey…don’t waste your time on that show…we love you and you are our superstar….we may not want to share you.Miriam

  • Ian

    Anyone committed to a healthy lifestyle should realize that Exercise Is The Reward!

  • Sylvia Rituper

    I was so inspired by so many readers writing about this article. Lately I tried to observe my appetite, as I recently started to make exercise and diet the “central point” of my life (out of self-respect, as well as the fact that the pain of keeping my life the same was greater than the pain of changing it) – I realized I eat about half the amount as I used to when exercising once or twice a week only. Eating more healthful (no white flour, little sugar, lots of greens) and cooking and eating slower is making all the difference. I think the question of WHAT to eat versus HOW MUCH to eat is right on the money. I you respect yourself, you know better than to stuff yourself with pizza, Hot Dogs and ice-cream. Thank all of you for sharing your stories.Sylvia R.

  • Deborah Moltisanti

    ARRRGGGGHHHHH! Just returned from a thoroughly satisfying bike ride to find this stupid Time article is AGAIN the lead story on! There couldn’t be a worse message to send to obese America. I am working very hard to lose over-40 weight, and it’s a definite combination of the foods I eat and E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E!

  • Kim

    loved this article.unfortunately saw this morning that CNN picked up the Time story and plastered it on the front page 🙁

  • Deanne

    Artfully articulate, as always. Thanks, Tom. And to Kim–they used to call it “yellow journalism” when it seemed important to report and analyse news rather than invent it. I’m afraid the trend to infotainment can even be seen in magazines that used to be filled with in-depth reporting and are now essentially sound bytes.

  • A.K.

    Time Magazine could not be more transparent in its corporate bias. Like every other major publication, they receive millions in advertising dollars from drug companies. I bet one of them leaned on Time/Warner and asked them run an article downplaying the effectiveness of exercise so they could promote their new miracle weight-loss drug as an alternative.

  • John cloud is a complete tward to be honest… and no Tom, it’s not too harsh. You SHOULD have named your post with that title… heck everyone knows I would have.After some thought and dealing with a lot of people it was VERY clear he wrote it out his own frustration from not succeeding and lack of will power and more importantly KNOWLEDGE.Though I think a part of me says they did it for exposure. They knew how ridiculous all this sounds yet they published it anyways… and look what happened. I’m talking about it, you’re talking about it. All press is good press as they say.Still… it was completely whack job of them to say such and Cloud is an EPIC fail.Had to be said.

  • What a ludicrous Time magazine article. It is really ignorant blaming over eating on exercise. Looking for something to point the finger at for not getting the results you were hoping for is simply an excuse, not wanting to admit your own failures.Weight loss is about reducing your body fat through strict, proper nutrition and exercise. The concept that exercise will make you over eat is just as bad as someone who does sit ups every day, over eats and does no cardio and concludes that sit ups do not help towards getting a flat stomach.In the end a little common sense, self discipline and ensuring all the major fitness components are addressed will ensure you get the best results fast.

  • DanceMama

    It frightens me to think that J.Cloud’s article is being read by people who are already struggling to become active. That whiner is such an amateur, using sneaky turns of phrases to pass his personal issues off as journalism.Two questions were repeating in my mind as I read that garbage article:Why don’t people like that step back and choose a kind of exercise they enjoy, rather than a “grueling expiation of any gastronomical indulgences during the week.”Read more:,8599,1914857-1,00.html#ixzz0XHIqT5k9Why don’t they think about rewarding themselves with healthy fuel for their bodies after a workout?”you and I might know it as the lip-licking anticipation of perfectly salted, golden-brown French fries after a hard trip to the gym”Read more:,8599,1914857-2,00.html#ixzz0XHJOJZSsSorry Johnny boy. I don’t share that sentiment with you. I want an apple and a yogurt after the gym. Don’t try to drag me down into your…whatever you want to call it.Tom, Great rebuttal; glad I got to read this post.

  • Tom B.

    Thanks for the letter to Time Tom. I read the Time article several months ago when I first started my fitness regime. I kind of laughed it off and was a bit puzzled by Time’s assertions. I have stuck with my new diet and exercise plan as advanced by BFFM(well about 85% of the plan). Since July I have lost 30 lbs and went from a size 36 waist to a size 30. When I first started exercising I could not do a single dip without using counterbalance weights. Now, I can add 25 lbs of weight on a belt and spit out 20 dips no problem.Tom’s plan has DEFINiTELY helped me add muscle and lose fat. Mental, Diet, Cardio. and Weights are four vital components of the plan. Doing just one, two or even three will not work. All four must be involved.Thanks Tom.

  • Becca

    Thank you, Tom, for providing factual, scientific information to set people straight about the importance of exercise and the role that it plays in maintaining health. It seems that some journalists would write ANYTHING with a controversial headline to grab readers even if the contents lack sound science or LOGIC, for that matter. I’m sure blaming exercise for weight gain or one’s inability to lose weight helps SOME people to feel better about their sedentary life style. A thousand “thank yous” to you for this rebuttal!!!

  • HR

    That’s a relief! Now, just when you thought that TIME would be a good pick for reading material, comes something like this to prove you otherwise. Just goes to show huh?Anyway, Tom, your facts based rebuttal, simply awesome! keep it up and keep us enlightened as always.

  • Great points. Thanks for setting the record straight. I have found that the more I exercise, the more I want to eat clean. Why would I sabotage my hard work with a bag of chips or a box of sugary anything?!

  • Caroline Davey

    I didn’t read the original magazine article, but if I had, I would have totally believed it because it reflects exactly what has been happening to me. In fact I have even commented to others, that, if I want to lose weight, I just stop all cardio, lift weights and reduce my calorie intake. Something that I can easily do because I am not shaking with hunger after completing a cardio workout.I gained several kg’s last year while training for a half ironman triathlon (kg’s of fat, not muscle) My body did not look so good as when I was just concentrating on lifting weights and eating a nutritious calorie restricted diet.After reading your article, several truths have hit home.I am currently training for an Ironman triathlon and cycle, run and swim up to 20 hours a week. It is as if I have been given a “get out of jail free” pass. I am eating absolute junk !! I deserve it right? If I spend 3 hours on the bike and then go for a long swim, surely my body should be allowed to eat a double quarter pounder meal and a family block of chocolate. Never mind that I constantly feel and look like crap.Tom, your article has opened my eyes to the reality of the situation and I am now taking a long hard look at my diet.I am 50 and female. BFFM helped turn me into a hot and healthy 50 year old female who can leg press 300kg.Somewhere along the way I lost touch with the basics of eating a healthy and nutritious diet. Thinking that if I pushed my body to the limit that would somehow allow me to thrive on a high fat, low nutrition diet.

  • Mickey B

    Hi, Tom

    I never saw the original article in Time. I have pretty much stopped reading anything produced by mainline media companies. They have, for the most part, stopped reporting, and they just editorialize. That’s why I choose to find my own experts, like you, to learn the facts from the fiction. As usual, you did not disappoint me. Thanks for a great rebuttal.

    Mickey B

  • Marg Watts

    Perhaps I skimmed to quickly as I have to get to work, but I saw no mention of the fact that “muscle burns fat”. I’m out of shape (unless you consider a watermelon with hands and feet shapely)according to medical tables, but have had some success at weight loss. I say “some”, because I’m still a long way from my goal. I started at 257 pounds! I have been hanging around from 213 to 230 for far too long. I have gotten close to breaking to breaking the 200 barrier, but I find my brain clouds up around 215 and I can’t think correctly! It start telling me I look really good and don’t have to exercise everyday. The sad thing is I believe it!
    Here’s is my new belief and I have some proof as to why it works for me. MUSCLE BURNS FAT! Keep making muscle it will be your best defense against regaining those hard lost pounds. I would love to say more, but my space has run out! Marg

  • Luiz

    You know Tom. There is legless spider experiment very important for everyone to know.

    A scientist took a spider and took out leg by leg. After he took one leg he said:”spider, walk” and the spider walked. He did that until the last leg remained. He took out the last leg and the spider (obviously) didn’t walk.
    So he writes in his notebook: “Conclusion: A spider with no legs becomes deaf”.

    I can’t believe there was such an article in Times. You don’t have to be a scientist or a specialist.
    Just go to the park and watch people running. They don’t run because they are slim, THEY ARE SLIM BECAUSE THEY RUN MORON.

  • Shamwow Guy

    I interpreted the Time magazine article to say that eating right was more important to weight loss than exercise, which seems to be true in my experience. Think about it. A pound of weight is roughly 3200 calories. Running at a very high intensity for an hour may burn around 600 calories. In order to lose that pound of weight in a week, you would have to work your butt off running hard for 4-5 hours a week. Realistically, most people cannot keep up that hard of a pace for long (especially people starting a workout regimen). That seems like a lot of work for just 1 pound. This strategy also assumes you will eat in a way that creates a calorie deficit (The # of calories burned is equal to greater than the # of calories consumed). The average person eats probably around 2000-3000 calories a day. But most people will find it hard to maintain or cut back on calories while they are expending that much energy running hard for an hour a day. The easier way seems to be mild to moderate exercise combined with a low-calorie diet that significantly cuts back on the calories. Contrary to popular myth, skipping a meal will not wreck your metabolism or cause weight gain. If you skip one meal per day, you’ve just cut your calories by 33% (so long as you don’t compensate by eating more calories at the end of the day). 33% is a huge boon. If you average 2000 calories per day, skipping one meal is the equivalent of running hard for 1 hour (600 calories). If you average 3000 calories per day, skipping a meal is saving you 1,000 calories per day! You would have to run for an hour and a half at high intensity to get the same results and it’s hard work!

    • Tom Venuto

      skipping a meal, especially breakfast, is also likely to make most people overcompensate later, even binge. Granted its not a cause and effect situation; someone with restraint will achieve exactly what you said, which is why id say a small portion of the population does well with novel meal frequency patterns like IF, but epidemiological research VERY strongly shows what usually happens in the real world: skipping meals backfires. In addition, experimental research says that haphazard eating has metabolic consequences that lead to worse body composition outcomes. I disagree that “eating right is more important to weight loss than exercise.” If you want to answer the question whats more important diet or exercise, Id rather put it this way: getting a great body is 100% nutrition and 100% training. achieving a caloric deficit is the sine qua non of weight loss, not the meal schedule or amount of exercise – a deficit can be achieved without exercise via caloric restriction alone. But body composition is another story – that takes training. No amount of cutting calories makes you fitter. No amount of cutting calories increases endurance. No amount of cutting calories makes you stronger. no amount of cutting calories builds muscle. No amount of cutting calories literally SHAPES and SCULPTS your body. ONLY. TRAINING. CAN. DO THAT.

      • Luiz

        You know, I’ve tried that thing of only reducing calories intake because I really believed that math of 3500 cal per lb. But it just doesn´t work like that. The body is not a linear behavior machine. It is a system with infinite chemical reactions and interactions beyond our fully understanding.
        I was a 180lb male with 26%bf. I continuously had to reduce my intake in order to keep losing weight until I had to keep a 1200 cal per day “diet”(obviously supported by drugs because it’s impossible to maintain such a strict diet for more than 2 days healthly).
        After 2 weeks on that diet I reached a plateau and kept the “diet” for 2 weeks more and got stuck with 170 lb with 22% bf, no energy, bad mood, sick face and everything.
        How is it possible to have a 1200 cal diet and not losing weight I asked myself. Well, now I know the body reached a starvation mode diminishing my metabolism.
        Not a surprise to say I got all my weight back when I quit the diet.
        So, I lived just what Tom preachs. It’s practically impossible to have a good body composition only with diets.
        I started applying Tom’s guidelines and 3 months later, I’m 170 lbs again, but with 19%bf, and I want more.

  • I actually remember seeing that article on Times a while ago. I thought to myself pretty much the same thing you did- of course eating more would counteract the exercise (if trying to lose weight).

    That’s why I would laugh at this chick I knew in college who would walk on a treadmill for 15 minutes each morning, then show up to her first class with 2 Snickers and a Coke. Then she’d complain that she couldnt lose weight.

  • jorn

    I’ve gotten to the point with #$!+ articles like this one in the Times, that I’m inclined to just let John Cloud and other like him go on with what they are doing. Then, they can die and we won’t have to listen to them anymore.

  • British medical scientist, Dr Paul Clayton, has devoted his career to studying nutrition and lifestyle. With the aid of historian J. Rowbotham who specializes in the era, Dr Clayton researched the lifestyle of England’s mid-Victorians (19th century).

    He found that those Victorians could consume some 6,000 calories a day – around twice as many as most folk today – whilst staying slim. Why? Because of their much more active lifestyle compared to that of most of us today. Virtually all work was much more physical and for longer periods. The most common way of getting from A to B was by walking.

    In a word – exercise!

    Of course there was far less junk/fast food in those days. So the food was likely much more nutritious too.

  • I exercise regularly and try to make healthy food choices. I don’t know if exercise increases or decreases my appetite. But I believe I use to eat more when I sit in-front of my computer for longer duration of time.

  • Personally, exercising has never led to weight loss for me unless I coupled it with dietary restrictions. Heck, I trained for races and a marathon and never lost a pound….because I never changed my eating habits.

    BUT, what I HAVE found is that exercise has a dramatic affect on your desire to be healthy. So for me, exercise has helped me to keep the weight off over the long term, that I lost via a good diet.

    In fact, I know very few people who have been able to keep their weight off for years without also being on an exercise plan.

If you’d like a picture to show up by your name, get a Gravatar.