Eat your Christmas cookies, but exercise too

“People tend to have an all-or-nothing approach — ‘I’m either super-duper healthy or I’m just not going to worry about it,’” Kitchin said. A new study shows it’s worth it to find that middle ground.

(Everyday Health)

Even though we often think about exercise as a way to burn through the extra calories we eat, this research, published in the Journal of Physiology, showed that the benefits of hitting the gym go further than that. In fact, the researchers made sure that the calories exercise burned didn’t even factor in. The exercisers ate the 75-percent extra diet while the non-exercisers only overate by 50 percent, meaning that even though the exercisers were burning some calories, they had the same calorie surplus.

These results are very unique, and quite promising, said Beth Kitchin, PhD, RD, assistant professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Though normally we think of exercise as being beneficial because it reduces calories, this study went beyond that line of thinking.