In yet another example of why exercise is far healthier than dieting alone, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that those who merely restrict calorie-intake lose bone-density as they lose weight.
The study involved three groups, one with a calorie-restricted diet, one maintaining normal calorie-intake while starting an exercise program, and one that received information on healthy lifestyles when they requested it.
One year later, both the low-calorie and increased exercise groups lost weight, but the low-calorie group also lost an average of 2.2% of their bone density in the lower spine, 2.2% in the hip, and 2.1% at the tip of the femur. The exercise and healthy lifestyle groups showed no significant loss in bone density.
On the contrary, exercise actually stimulates bone growth. So, for those of you looking to lose weight while protecting your bones, a combination of dieting and exercise is the healthiest way to accomplish your fitness goals.