I enjoyed your article - good advice.
Is this really what the WP piece said? The quote I see says that you can lose weight with exercise but that it easier to lose by eating less. It makes perfect sense.
“The key for weight loss is to generate and maintain a calorie deficit,” he says. “It’s pretty easy to get people to eat 1,000 calories less per day, but to get them to do 1,000 calories per day of exercise — walking 10 miles — is daunting at many levels, including time and motivation,” he says."
It simply says that exercise does lead to weight loss if you don’t eat more than you burn off. Surely that's uncontroversial. What's also uncontroversial is that most people overestimate how many calories they burn off at the gym.
The idea that modest exercise "causes" you to consume more calories is a ridiculous over complication. If you are that weak-willed then no diet is going to work for you.
Any exercise helps, as in if you start from nothing and eat 20% less and exercise 20% more then you will - population-wise - lose weight. If you cannot control your appetite after walking a few kilometers, then you won’t lose weight.
In my experience exercising usually improves people's motivation and sense of satisfaction with themselves and helps them stay on track with their eating.
But ultimately your idea of various levers is the best e.g. the best diet is the one that works for you.