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Why do I need to exercise to lose weight?

Weight management can be simplified by calculating net caloric expenditure. For example, if you consume 2,500 calories per day, and you burn 2,000 calories per day you will have a net caloric expenditure of +500 calories, which means you are on pace to gain weight. In order to lose weight you need to have a negative caloric expenditure. This can be accomplished by diet alone. However, you will need to significantly reduce caloric intake.
Exercise will increase caloric expenditure and raise metabolism, which means you will continue to burn calories through the day and boost your energy. To achieve weight loss goals, exercise is paramount. Using the same example above, if you exercise you could burn an extra 1,000 calories per day. Thus, consuming 2,500 calories minus the 3,000 calories burned gives you a net caloric expenditure of -500. 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat. If you burn 500 more calories per day than you consume, you will lose 1 pound of fat in one week.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.