OK, so this is not entirely truthful, exercise helps with losing weight but there are more important considerations first, namely dietary.
Lets consider the source of weight gain. This is taking in more calories then your body burns. Simply said, eating more then you burn off. That excess possible fuel is stored, generally as fat, in attempt to prevent starvation. Since the human body is an efficient vehicle, this process is continued unless the fat is needed. To get rid of unwanted excess there are two basic options:
A. Eat less
B. Burn more calories
While these are the two most basic options, there is a veritable cornucopia (pun intended) of gray area options within these two:
1. Changing when you eat
2. Changing how you eat
3. Changing what you eat
4. Changing your daily activities to include more simple exercise (stairs vs elevator, parking farther away from the store and walking, going for a walk instead of that extra hour of tv, etc.)
5. Implementing a basic exercise regime
6. Implementing a extensive exercise regime
7. Changing diet and exercising
These again are some basic options, but the heart of the matter is that your diet is what brought you to your current body composition. A diet will not get you back where you want to be unless it is a permanent change.
First of all, the word diet does not mean cutting out food you love or making yourself miserable to lose a few pounds; it simply means what a person consumes in a given period of time (food a day, a week, a month, whatever). Going on a diet rarely works because of the extremes and because all people are not created equal, thus neither are all diets. When discussing diets, there is a disclaimer to use. When I say diet with my clients I always give the caveat, a diet is a non-drastic way of modifying your eating habits.Think instead nutritional plan.
The major reasons diets rarely work are because they are too drastic which leads to cravings and they do not fit the individual lifestyle they are being implemented on. We are all individuals, have individual lives, individual schedules, individual habits, etc. A nutritional plan (diet) needs to fit within the individual parameters to be effective. Drastic changes may deliver drastic results but once off this drastic diet the rebounds are worse then the initial problem. No one gains an extra 30 lbs over night, it is ludicrous to expect to lose weight (and keep it off) in anything but a similar time frame as it was gained.
So what about exercise . . .
Exercise will hands down create weight loss and strengthen body and mind. The issue here is not what will cause me to lose weight but more what will keep me from gaining it again. For the weekend warrior and the average person, changing how you eat will not only cause you to lose those extra pounds but will give you more energy. With that new found energy, exercise comes easy.