Dietary Weight-Loss Program Effective Regardless of Physical Activity

Text Size:
Dietary Weight Loss Program Effective Regardless of Physical Activity

A diet-based weight-loss program was found to be effective for weight loss and other health improvements regardless of how much physical activity participants were asked to engage in, according to a new study published in the journal Obesity.

Research has shown that even moderate weight loss — up to about 10% of your body weight — can have significant health benefits in people with type 2 diabetes, including remission of diabetes (normal blood glucose levels without taking any glucose-lowering drugs). A number of dietary interventions are accepted as widely effective for type 2 diabetes remission — with studies showing that calorie-restricted intermittent fasting, low-calorie diets, meal replacements, and low-carb vegan diets all may be promising approaches. Even for people with type 2 diabetes without obesity, modest weight loss may lead to diabetes remission. For people with obesity, bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective for remission of type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, and remission of type 2 is linked to how much weight loss occurs following the procedure.

To get cutting-edge diabetes news, strategies for blood glucose management, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletters!

For the latest study, 374 adults with overweight or obesity were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The first group (124 people) took part in a diet-based weight-loss program without being asked to engage in more physical activity. The second group (127 people) did the diet-based program and was asked to engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, and the third group (123 people) did the diet-based program and was asked to engage in 250 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Weight loss and certain blood test results were assessed after participants completed 12 months of their prescribed program, as noted in an article on the study at Healio.

Diet-only weight-loss program linked to weight loss

At the end of the study period, all groups experienced similar levels of overall weight loss. Average weight loss was 10.5 kilograms (23.1 pounds) in the diet-only group, 10.6 kilograms (23.4 pounds) in the group that got 150 minutes of activity, and 9.5 kilograms (20.9 pounds) in the group that got 250 minutes of activity. All three groups also had similar measures of cardiovascular and metabolic health as shown through blood test results, in areas including insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, and systemic inflammation.

“These findings highlight that an average weight loss of approximately 10% profoundly impacts biomarkers of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic disease in adults with overweight or obesity,” the researchers wrote, noting that “the addition of at least moderate-intensity physical activity to a diet-only intervention did not provide any additional benefit.”

Want to learn more about weight management? Read “Tried and True Weight-Loss Techniques,” “Losing Weight Without Feeling Hungry,” and “Seven Ways to Lose Weight.”

Quinn Phillips

Quinn Phillips

Quinn Phillips on social media

A freelance health writer and editor based in Wisconsin, Phillips has a degree from Harvard University. He is a former Editorial Assistant for Diabetes Self-Management and has years of experience covering diabetes and related health conditions. Phillips writes on a variety of topics, but is especially interested in the intersection of health and public policy.

Save Your Favorites

Save This Article