If your weight-loss goals are eluding you it may be time to change your gym regime - by cutting back.
Going to the gym to lose weight will only succeed for a while because the body adapts to higher activity levels, a study has found.
While pounding the treadmill or hitting the weights will initially reduce that spare tyre, your body will soon start to become less effective at burning calories as it becomes more efficient.
People who start rigorous exercise programmes to shed the pounds often report that their rate of weight loss declines after a few months.
To investigate this phenomenon, US researchers measured the daily energy expenditure and activity levels of more than 300 men and women over the course of a week.
While moderately active individuals burned about 200 more calories each day than most sedentary people, those who did higher levels of exercise saw no extra benefit.
Lead scientist Dr Herman Pontzer, from the City University of New York, said: 'What our work adds is that we also need to focus on diet, particularly when it comes to managing our weight and preventing or reversing unhealthy weight gain.'
The research suggests there is a 'sweet spot' for physical activity. While too little is unhealthy, too much causes the body to make big metabolic adjustments in order to adapt.
- Daily Mail