Many people might think it is ridiculous to ask such a question since, to them, the answer is obvious. “Fat and fit? Give me a break!”, they might say. Science on the other hand says something very different.
Luckily, Steven Blair at the Cooper Institute, in Dallas, Texas decided to put this question to the test. Needless to say, the results of his research sent shock-waves across the world, due to their counterintuitive conclusions. Among their findings: ” 1) regular physical activity clearly attenuates many of the health risks associated with overweight or obesity; 2) physical activity appears to not only attenuate the health risks of overweight and obesity, but active obese individuals actually have lower morbidity and mortality than normal weight individuals who are sedentary“ (emphasis mine)
This is remarkable. It seems to suggest that regular exercise is more important than weight loss. So if you are overweight, and you regularly exercise, don’t get frustrated and give up if you don’t lose weight, there are many other benefits from exercise besides weight loss.
The findings from this study and similar ones also relate to the TOFI(thin outside, fat inside) phenomenon I did an earlier post on – Are you a Tofi?
This doesn’t mean if you are significantly overweight but are still healthy, you shouldn’t try to lose weight.
The lessons to be learned here are: No matter what your weight is, exercise is beneficial. If you are overweight but not losing weight, keep exercising. Also, being slim doesn’t mean you are metabolically fit, so slim people still need to exercise to be healthy.