This study compared weight loss in men who exercised for 30 minutes per day to men who exercised 60 minutes per day. Interestingly enough, the men who exercised for only 30 minutes per day lost more weight.
>>>>>>PLEASE KEEP READING!<<<<<<
Do NOT interpret this as "Trent said I only have to exercise 30 minutes per day to lose weight!" When it comes to research, one needs to dig a little deeper than the initial finding of the study.
Researchers suggested that the surprising results may be due to the fact that doing just 30 minutes of exercise left participants with the desire and energy to do more physical activity after their required exercise session, thus burning more overall calories. Obviously, if activity levels were the same post-exercise, participants who exercised 60 minutes per day would have lost more weight; 60 minutes of exercise burns more calories than 30 minutes of exercise. Since they weren't though, the 30 minute participants burned more calories (and ate less!) over the course of an entire day due to their energy levels remaining high.
What's the take home message here? Exercise shouldn't be the only means to losing weight. I say this often, but I will remind you that weight loss is 70% nutrition and 30% physical activity. It's too easy to eat all of the calories burned during an exercise session, especially if you "justify" your eating by doing a longer workout (which as this study shows, does not work!).
It's important to recognize losing weight results from a negative energy balance (read this article on the energy balance equation to find out more!). Performing 60 minutes of exercise doesn't mean fat is going to just fall off your body; you must take into account your activity levels OUTSIDE of exercise, as well as what you're putting on your plate.
More is not always better, even when it comes to exercise.
Make it happen.