Myth of Physical Activities and Calorie Burning
Exercise and a mobile lifestyle are very important, but as found in a new study, they have little in common with weight loss.
Have you ever noticed a fat person in the gym sweating on a treadmill three or four days a week, but it never gets thin either?
This proof, which you see with your own eyes, contradicts what we are told, because the condition of weight loss is that the more active you are, the more calories you burn.
If your calorie intake is less than you expend, so you start losing pounds. For example, a review of research conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine said that physical activity is much more associated with obesity than the food we eat.
In contrast, the American National Health Survey, in which researchers monitored the health status of the population from 1998 to 2010, showed a huge increase in obesity and physical activity, which could not be attributed to the amount of calories consumed.
And yet – how can we explain the fact of a fat man on a treadmill who doesn’t get thinner? It seems that things are not so simple, and the more we go into it, the more the direct link between physical activity and calorie consumption begins to disappear.
Baylor University researchers in Texas studied two very different groups of eight-year-old children. One included children from the Amazon Shuar tribe in Ecuador, whose typical day includes working on a family farm and taking care of food.
The second group is better known to us – an eight-year-old westerner who sits on a school bench and then rests at home with a game console in his hands or has a nose board.
Of course, it is no wonder that Shuar children in the Amazon are 25% more active than their Western peers. But there is a hook – both groups burned the same amount of calories every day.
It Works In The Short Term
Researchers think that everything could be related to evolution and the way the body has adapted to burn calories. Our metabolic system is like a prudent money spender that keeps a close eye on your budget and stops shopping when your account balance starts to shrink.
Shuar children are much thinner than a typical Western child, but the Shuar body “knows” how to stop calorie dedazing to ensure important physiological processes take place. Researchers at Baylor University are at least thinking about “what’s going on.”
Other researchers have reported a similar phenomenon. Researchers at the University of New York have found that strenuous physical exertion has an immediate effect on weight, but then weight loss slows to a halt, even if training and exercise remain the same.
The best way to lose weight consistently and in the long run is to follow a diet, the researchers concluded. But this is not a popular idea.
At a time when one-fifth of children are obese at school, health watchers are trying to make children more active, rather than tidying up the menu, in an effort to curb this obesity epidemic.
Researchers at Baylor University point out that there are many good reasons to exercise, and the cardiovascular system will thank you for that, but weight loss is not one of those reasons.
The popular cardiologist Aseem Malhotra also agrees. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases, including –
- multiple tumors
- and heart disease
However, physical activity is not the most important part of a weight loss strategy.
Obesity and weight loss are the response to what we eat. Food, specifically sugary, carbohydrate-rich processed foods, is a major cause of obesity.
As already indicated in the title of one study, which is also authored by Dr. Malhotra, you cannot avoid the consequences of poor nutrition.
People get a lot of useless information that counting calories can maintain a healthy weight, and many still mistakenly believe that obesity is caused entirely by a lack of exercise
We are not even getting the right message about food. We get our energy from fats and carbohydrates, mainly sugars, and we are told that if we want to lose weight, we need to limit the amount of yeast in our diet.
However, this is a very simplistic approach and is often supported by the food industry, which makes large profits from the production of defatted beverages and food.
The consequence is that we are consuming more carbohydrates, despite the fact that, in fact, it is sugars, not fats, that make us gain weight. The second message, which is constantly maintained, reads:
all calories are the same
This grain of thought was sown in the sugar industry in the 1950s, and Coca-Cola refined it in 2013, announcing that all calories were “counting.” In the campaign the company launched, it blamed in the obesity epidemic people for their inactivity, not its sugary drinks.
However, not all calories affect the body in the same way. Sugar calories (from carbohydrates) contribute to the accumulation of fat and hunger, and studies show that for every additional 150 calories people ingest from sugar, they increase diabetes by one percent at the national level.
On the other hand, the consumption of extra fat or protein does not leave such an impression. For people with insulin resistance, eating processed foods could have even worse health effects. Could it also be that people who eat such foods experience insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.
There is not enough evidence
Most still recognize the theory of calorie control. Those who think that all the fault is due to a lack of physical activity point to evidence that it is the most effective way to lose weight, for example, researchers at Massey University in New Zealand have concluded.
The researchers evaluated 15 other studies involving 556 people who exercised for 36 weeks, each losing an average of 3.7 kilograms. However, some of these studies were poorly designed.
At best, as scientists have recognized, there is some evidence that exercise can reduce body fat, it works even less than it helps to improve metabolism, such as controlling cholestarin levels and insulin.
Another review, which included 29 studies, found that it was not clear whether exercise had a significant effect on obesity, such as body mass index and waist circumference, but it did seem to help people lose weight.
Scientists who take a different view, such as Aseem Malhotra, say the evidence for exercise is inconclusive and insists that the level of physical activity has not changed much in the last 30 years, but that obesity rates have risen sharply.
Researchers have seen this happen, for example, in sub-Saharan Africa. Obesity rates rose by 35% between 1992 and 2005, coinciding with the time when cheap processed foods became much more freely available in the region.
By emphasizing the idea that the most important thing is counting calories, the attention is diverted from the real problem – eating industrially processed food.
By the way, the World Health Organization agrees that poor nutrition causes more illnesses than sedentaryness, smoking and alcohol use together. According to Darius Mozafarian, a professor at Tafts University,
We need to break the myth that less fat and low-calorie products will also lead to less weight.
This illusion leads to a paradoxical policy that focuses on calories rather than food quality. The clearest example is banned whole milk products but skimmed milk and milk sweetened with sugar may be used.
Slim but Sick
It’s not just about losing weight and not regaining lost pounds. You can be thin, but the consequences of poor nutrition cannot be avoided.
Boston marathon organizer Dave McGillivrey, who runs the marathon every year and even at age 65, was diagnosed with serious coronary heart disease six years ago. McGillivrey was in shock.
“I’ve run all my life. I’ve competed in eight Ironman triathlons and 140 marathons. I’ve crossed all of America. How can I have blocked arteries?”
he wondered. The reason was simple.
“I felt like a runner – I thought if the oven is hot enough, it burns everything that’s being put in. So I ate whatever I wanted,”
he told Runner’s World in 2018.
He should have talked to his cardiologist Aaron Bagsis earlier. Baghish, director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at the Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, says McGillervey’s attitude is typical because runners believe a slow curtain is enough to regain weight and shape.
Excessive use of simple sugars is one of the most common habits of runners. They eat white bread, wheat pasta, white rice and refined sugars, which are converted in the body into “bad molecules, lean fats and bad oxidative particles”, but all this damages the heart and arteries.