An article in yesterday’s Sunday NYT features a study that dispels the common assumption that doing more activity helps us lose weight.
The common assumption is that people in modern societies are overweight largely because we move around less than people in generations past–and definitely less than in the hunter-gatherer societies from which we evolved.
Researchers tested this assumption by studying actual hunter-gatherers in Northern Tanzania. While these people WERE more active, their bodies didn’t expend more calories than sedentary Western people.
How could that be?
It appears that our bodies may adapt to increased activity by expending less energy during our rest times. You can view more details of the study here.
So, if working out doesn’t burn more net calories, and if our lack of activity isn’t what is keeping us pudgy, then what is?
The most likely suspect: our diet.
Cut way back on dietary sugars and carbohydrates.
The single thing we can do to make the biggest impact may be to eliminate sugars and refined carbohydrates (such as breads, cereals, and pastas).
These carbohydrates have drug-like effects that prevent our bodies from using our own body fat for energy. Our fat cells become one-way storage deposits; they take in fat, but don’t release it when our bodies need energy. Thus, we become ever hungrier even as we are storing more fat.
The good news is that to the extent we reduce sugar and carbohydrate consumption, our fat cells effectively become two-way streets that can provide lots of energy all day. This makes us less hungry, it makes us feel great, and it makes it far easier to lose weight and look sexy in our bathing suits.
To learn more details about these dietary ideas, watch this youtube video.
To health and life,
P.S. To assist with having a lean, attractive, strong body, the exercise we need is more intense exercise. Don’t exercise to burn calories; that doesn’t work. And if your workout is intense enough, once a week is sufficient – perhaps even optimal.