How do exercise and diet compare for weight loss?
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Exercise alone produces short-term weight loss that is comparable with that induced by diet, after which a plateau in weight loss appears to occur (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B). Exercise in combination with diet promotes maintenance of weight loss above either intervention alone in both obese and overweight men and women (SOR: A). Exercise-induced weight loss has been shown to preferentially reduce abdominal fat and increase lean skeletal muscle compared with that induced by diet (SOR: B).
Journal of Family Practice, 56(10) 2007: 841+.