New Weight Loss Studies Reveal How Less Exercise Can Be Better, Plus Three Easy Tweaks [Video]

Does achieving long-term weight loss goals require spending endless hours in the gym? Not according to the latest study, which shows that less exercise actually can provide better results for your health, reported Time.

When University of Oxford researchers evaluated how much women exercised as well as their intensity, they found that a moderate amount is the ideal for reducing heart disease and stroke risks. For example, if you push yourself away from that tempting couch to walk or garden four-to-six times a week, you'll achieve the best benefits.

And if you have a dog, you have extra motivation to head out for that walk, as shown below.

In contrast, if you prefer to push yourself, just two-to-three times a week is the ideal. However, performing strenuous exercise more than three times weekly increases your risk. And that result confirms another study showing that going all-out to extremes reverses exercise benefits.

For those who stress about managing their budget as well as their weight, the studies show that paying for a gym isn't a necessity for reaping the benefits of exercise, emphasized lead study author Miranda Armstrong, a physical activity epidemiologist at the University of Oxford.

"Activities may not necessarily need to be sports or exercise at the gym, because even everyday activities such as gardening and walking were associated with significantly lower risks in these women."
How about diet? The newest studies also show that you don't need to go to extremes to achieve your weight loss goals, reports the Huffington Post. Simple tweaks can yield significant results over time.
On average, people make 200 food-related decisions daily, discovered Cornell professor Brian Wansink. By keeping a fruit bowl on the counter, dieters weigh on average eight pounds less than those who don't have a healthy food choice visible in their kitchen.

Avoid those who criticize you for your weight. Another study showed that women who were accepted for their size either maintained or lost weight. In contrast, those who were subjected to criticism from family and friends gained an average of more than four pounds.

As the Inquisitr reported, a new show called My Big Fat Fabulous Life tackles the topic of fat-shaming and weight bullying. In the show, 380-pound Whitney Thore reveals the pain that she feels from those who mock her for her weight.

"If I'm pro-anything it's simply pro-loving yourself in this moment because it's all we have," says Whitney of charges that she's promoting obesity.

In addition, beware of the weight trap involved in skipping breakfast and then feasting late at night, cautions Dr. William Lagakos of Calories Proper.

He cites studies showing that by learning to time your meals on a schedule similar to the hunter-gatherers, you can achieve your weight loss goals more easily.

[Photo By Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images]