What is The Role of Exercise in Losing Weight?
There is only one opening to this article and that is to go back to the basics of what we have got so horribly wrong in dieting. Eat less/do more does not work. Look back at the graph from the Wales obesity conference in the second issue of Diet & Health Today and see how any small amounts of weight, which may be lost in the short term by eating less and/or doing more, are regained in the medium term and then weight continues to rise in the longer term.
If you manage to eat less, let alone do more, your body simply adjusts what is happening internally and resets your equilibrium, so that you run on a lower calorie level. You then need to eat even less/do even more to override this and the body just resets lower still. There is only one way to lose weight and gain health and that is to work with your body – never to fight it.
1) ‘Eat less’ will lead the body to try to restore energy intake to the level needed a) through hunger driving the person to eat more and b) through energy conservation driving the person to do less. Similarly,
2) ‘Do more’ will lead the body to try to restore energy intake to the level needed a) through hunger driving the person to eat more (to meet the extra fuel requirement) and b) through energy conservation driving the person to do less (to resist the demand for fuel that has not been supplied).
So, ‘eat less’ leads to eat more/do less and ‘do more’ leads to eat more/do less. All routes lead to the body trying to make you eat more and do less – the exact opposite of what you are trying to do. The idea that the body will simply give up 100 calories from the hips, every time there is a fuel deficit, is biochemically absurd.
(Please note that most calorie theorists think that both energy in and energy out are responsible for the obesity epidemic. They think that we eat too much and do too little generally and that we eat too many lots of 3,500 calories and don’t do enough 3,500 calories bouts of exercise more specifically. This article is only looking at exercise, but I didn’t want you to think that I had put people in one camp or another.)