Could less exercise be more beneficial for weight loss? NYT's "Well" blog reports:
For Weight Loss, Less Exercise May Be More
On the other hand, the men who had exercised the most, working out for 60 minutes a day, had managed to drop some flab, losing an average of five pounds each. The scientists calculated that that weight loss, while by no means negligible, was still about 20 percent less than would have been expected given the number of calories the men were expending each day during exercise, if food intake and other aspects of their life had held steady.
Meanwhile, the volunteers who’d worked out for only 30 minutes a day did considerably better, shedding about seven pounds each, a total that, given the smaller number of calories that they were burning during exercise, represents a hefty 83 percent “bonus” beyond what would have been expected, says Mads Rosenkilde, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Copenhagen who led the study.
So what's the deal? How is it possible that people burning more calories lost less weight? Well, partly it's because the high-exercise group was building muscle. But it also turns out that those in the high exercise group were eating more, and were also doing less exercise outside of their scheduled workouts.
So if you're going to use intense exercise as an excuse to pig out -- and I know that tempation myself and have occasionally fallen prey to it! -- or are working out to the point where you're exhausting yourself and so being less active the rest of the time, it may be a good idea to dial your workout back a notch.