Q: What’s more important for weight loss—exercise or calorie restriction?
A: Studies comparing the roles of calorie reduction and exercise in weight loss have generally found that the greater benefit comes from dieting.
But combining exercise and diet is usually best. Exercise not only burns calories, it also helps prevent the loss of muscle mass and the drop in metabolic rate that usually accompany dieting. And once you’re at your desired weight, exercise is an excellent way to prevent or minimize future weight gain.