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The AICR Lifestyle & Cancer Symposium addresses the most current and consequential issues regarding diet, obesity, physical activity and cancer.

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AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

June 6, 2011 | 2 minute read

How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off (In 3 minutes)

I attended a fast-paced session at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Denver last week. Titled “Energy Balance: Where Nutrition Meets Exercise and Medicine,” presenters were given 3 minutes to answer a nutrition and exercise question.

James Hill began with this question: What are the relative roles of diet and physical activity in weight loss and weight maintenance?

His answer: Research shows that diet is key to weight loss and physical activity is key for weight maintenance.

Why: Eating fewer calories works best to achieve a large enough calorie deficit for weight loss, but over the long-term, most people can’t sustain such a low calorie level to keep the weight off. Once weight is lost, those who successfully keep it off do so by being more physically active.

How much physical activity? 60-90 minutes a day to keep off any significant amount of weight loss. That translates to about 10,000 – 12,000 steps daily.

What to do: To lose weight focus on what and how much you eat first. Gradually incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, so that once you’ve achieved a healthier weight, you’re exercising enough to keep it off.

Check out our New American Plate Challenge and see how 8 people made diet and exercise changes through a weekly challenge from AICR.

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