You might not expect to hear this from the nation's leading exercise and fitness company, but here's the hard truth:

When it comes to losing weight, exercise alone usually doesn't cut it. Most people need a COMBINED approach that addresses both diet and exercise.

It seems that many people expect exercise alone to make up for habitual overeating. They also overestimate how many calories their workouts really burn. A typical aerobics class, for instance, may burn about 300 calories or so* -- not nearly enough if you need to reduce your intake by 600 a day.

This isn't to knock exercise; it's absolutely crucial to well-being, and it certainly contributes to the weight-loss process. Regular aerobic exercise does burn some calories; it also strengthens your heart, improves your mental well-being, and much more. And strength-training contributes significantly to weight loss, by increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

* Varies according to exercise intensity and other factors