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Jan 29, 2016 09:56 AM EST

Weight loss: Exercise or diet?

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A new study published suggests that exercise alone does not guarantee weight loss and that one should focus on diet instead, Latinos Health reported.

The study said that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight as the body reaches a plateau when more exercise does not translate into more calories burnt, as reported by The Guardian.

The study was published in the journal Current Biology.

"It's time to stop assuming that more physical activity always means (expending) more calories," the journal said, as reported by The guardian.

"There might be a 'sweet spot' for physical activity - too little and we're unhealthy but too much and the body makes big ­adjustments."

Dr. Herman Pontzer of the Department of Anthropology at the City University of New York and lead author of the study noted that the new study debunks the belief that the more you exercise, the more calories you burn, as reported by CBC. 

"Our bodies adapt to higher activity levels so that people don't necessarily burn extra calories even if they exercise more," Pontzer explained.

The team measured the daily energy expenditures and activity levels of over 300 individuals from five countries for over a week. The study revealed that the number of calories burned during exercise reaches a plateau.

"As we move from moderate activity levels up to more and more activity, our bodies adapt, so that energy expenditure per day stays basically the same, even as we're more and more active," Pontzer said.

"Being physically active is good for your physical and mental health and also helps to maintain a healthy weight," said Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England.

"However, the evidence shows the most effective way of losing weight is to reduce calorie intake through a healthy balanced diet."

However, one should still incorporate exercise into the daily regimen because it is good for the heart, immune system and mental health, Pontzer stressed.

The study highlighted that exercise reduces risk diseases such as coronary heart disease, a range of cancers, stroke and type 2 diabetes as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to The guardian.

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