Low-carb diet experts vehemently disagree with a controversial Stanford University study that claims obesity is caused by lack of exercise, not poor diet.
Scientists at the Stanford Medical School said inactivity is to blame for the tsunami of obesity we see around us after reviewing the results of a 22-year national healthy survey.
In their research, scientists analyzed data from more than 17,000 participants from 1988 through 2010, and found that obesity rates correlated highly with subjects’ inactivity, but not with total caloric intake.
“What struck us the most was just how dramatic the change in leisure-time physical activity was,” said Uri Ladabaum, MD, associate professor of gastroenterology and lead author of the study.
“Although we cannot draw conclusions about cause and effect from our study, our findings support the notion that exercise and physical activity are important determinants of the trends in obesity.”
Fitness Experts: You Can’t Outexercise a Bad Diet
The Stanford report contradicts longstanding fitness wisdom that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. “The Biggest Loser” trainer Bob Harper said diet trumps is more important than exercise for weight loss.
“It is all about your diet,” said Harper, author of Skinny Meals. “I used to think a long time ago that you can beat everything you eat out of you, and it’s just absolutely not the case.”
Paleo diet expert Mark Sisson told Palm Springs Life he maintains his buff body at age 60 with a low-carb Paleo diet. Mark, a former Ironman triathlete, exercises less since switching to the Paleo diet but continues to enjoy excellent health (and ripped six-pack abs).
“I actually work out less,” said Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint. “Thirty percent of your body composition is determined by how you eat.” The other factors are a combination of genetics, lifestyle, and exercise.
Low-Carb Diets Induce Weight Loss Without Exercise
Last year, a woman made headlines after losing 80 pounds in 12 months on a high-fat, low-carb hybrid ketogenic-Paleo diet.
The 5-foot-4 Amanda slimmed down from 222 pounds to 134 pounds on a LCHF “ketogenic-Paleo” diet without any exercise.
Similarly, a New Zealand woman credited the LCHF ketogenic diet for her unbelievable 110-pound weight loss in seven months. Ariana Omipi (pictured above) slimmed down from 287 pounds to 177 pounds by eating lots of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbs.
Omipi revealed on YouTube she did not exercise at all in the first month and a half, and still experienced dramatic weight loss on her low-carb ketogenic diet. When she started seeing results, Ariana began working out, and said she now exercises an hour a day.
Whether diet beats exercise for weight loss or vice-versa, exercise is an important component of good health. Studies show regular exercise sets off a cascade of metabolic changes that boost metabolism, burn body fat, and enhance immune health.