Exercise Won't Make You a Size Zero

In these dark times, we'll take good news from wherever we can, let alone spectacular news like this. Basically, any guilt you were harboring about not having been to the gym since the beginning of the new year you can replace with smugness, because scientists now say that exercise isn't going to make you thin. In fact, it might even make you fat! "Your appetite goes up when you start to exercise," according to one physiologist. "Your body is telling you it needs more calories, so you eat more."

Then there's the fact that intense cardio not only burns a pathetic amount of calories—300 after half an hour on a rowing machine, which you'll more than replace with a single slice of pizza—but can also cause muscle as well as fat breakdown, thus slowing metabolism. And if that's not off-putting enough, a professor of endocrinology points out that exercise triggers a rise in fat-promoting hormones like cortisol.

So we should all rip up our Crunch/Equinox memberships, right? Pretty much: The only real benefit of "gym culture," apparently, is that it's good for heart and lung health, but like anyone could care less about that. Oh Gwyneth, you just can't catch a break these days, can you?

Could going to gym be making you fatter? [DM]