If you’re looking for exercise to directly help you drop that bundle of extra weight you’re carrying, don’t bother. Energy expenditure through exercise almost never equals energy intake through eating, and especially if you’re still eating like there’s no tomorrow.
BUT—exercise, if you do it, is a great motivator. If you exercise, particularly if you didn’t exercise before or couldn’t keep it up in the past, you can come to believe that you can do anything, even diet successfully. Exercising too might be a way for you to dispel negative moods that lead to emotional eating and eventually to diet busting or diet quitting. And the self-regulation exercise calls for can be something you take with you to eating less food and eating weight-reducing food.
Make no mistake about it, though. Exercise itself cannot burn enough calories to keep up with your energy intake if you have weight to lose and you haven’t changed your eating habits. But as a motivator, exercise may be just what you need to put you on the road to doing something about your eating habits.