How much exercise is enough to lose weight?

As I was on my afternoon jog today, I had an epiphany.  There is only so much exercise necessary for successfully losing weight.  Any extra exercise simply allows you to eat more.  Before I delve deeper into this idea, it is important to acknowledge that this post is written from the perspective of losing weight.  Your doctor may prescribe a specific level of activity for you depending on your health (my doctor prescribed an hour a day of exercise).   When I first started The Wine Diet, I didn't exercise at all.  The most exercise I got typically was 5,000 steps a day as I walked my daughter to one of the nearby parks to play.  Even though later in the diet I got more walking time in, I can safely say exercise is not absolutely necessary for losing weight.  

Back to the epiphany.  As I was jogging along, I started to wonder what the difference was between running two miles and four miles.  Sure running four miles meant burning more calories and getting closer to exercising for one hour a day.  But how much are those extra calories worth?  The difference in running two miles and four miles is approximately 300 extra calories burned.  Which is easily good for an extra dessert or two glasses of wine.  But is it really worth it?  For me, some days the extra effort is worth a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream and peaches or two glasses of wine.  On other days, it's a lot easier to run a little less and skip the extra dessert.  Which is a great thing because you have a choice.  You don't always have to run hard and push yourself to the limits.  Sometimes you can take it easy, drink wine, and know you are still losing weight.