New research indicates that eating a healthy diet may be even more important than exercising, especially in the long term
Diet and exercise have long been known to be key elements in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Healthy life, to lose weight and to prevent the appearance of various pathologies.
What has never been thought about is whether one of those two factors is more important in the long term, that is, it has a more positive impact. Up to now.
New research indicates that exercise may rank below diet in good weight loss impact. In other words, it might be more useful to eat well than to play sports. These are the conclusions of a study carried out by Herman Pontzer, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University.
Titled “Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy,” the work suggests that exercising more does not necessarily help burn more calories. Why? According to the expert, because the body finds sneaky ways to adapt by reducing energy use elsewhere.
The expert assures that doing sports is not the most effective strategy to lose weight
“Exercise does not change how many calories you use, but how you use them,” the expert told Business Insider. At the same time, he added: “Diet and exercise are two different tools for two different jobs. Diet is your weight loss tool. Exercise is your tool for everything else.”
Exercising to lose weight is based on the assumption that the body burns calories at a constant rate. If this theory is followed, if walking one kilometer burns 50 calories, walking 100 kilometers over the course of a month would burn 5,000 calories. Theoretically, this helps you expend more energy than you consume and causes your body to use stored energy to burn fat.
However, the expert who carried out the study points out that before his discoveries this theory collapses, that he obtained the data by working with the Hadza, a group of indigenous inhabitants of Tanzania, who they walk for miles each day as part of a traditional lifestyle of Hunter-gatherers.
Pontzer and his team were surprised to find that they burn only slightly more calories each day than the average sedentary American adult. This represents much less than expected given its very high levels of activity.
This observation suggests that exercise-metabolism equation It is more of a curve, which means that the more you exercise, the more carefully the body budgets energy.
Beyond weight, expending energy is good for the body
According to the data that Pontzer obtained from this group of Tanzanians, the body has the same calorie budget, whether it is training a marathon or relaxing on the couch. The expert calls this “the restricted energy frame.”
However, even though it can stop fat burning, it might also explain why exercise is so good for human beings. After weeks or months of exercise, the body begins to reallocate calories from other activities to compensate, according to the evidence presented by Pontzer and his team.
In addition, the expert points out that this includes activities that they do have more negative than positive effects. The immune system, for example, is important for a person to stay alive, but it can cause damage if hyperactive, leading to problems ranging from allergies to autoimmune disorders.
Along these lines, the restricted energy framework suggests that exercise helps the body to spend excess energy to keep the immune system and stress responses more balanced.
The next step in your investigation is testing how this theory works, to see if we can really measure how exercise affects every system and cell in the body beyond fat and muscle.
In case the results are positive, the theory could also help explain why modern sedentary lifestyles and processed diets are terrible for health and help science find a solution.
“We take for granted that chronic diseases are part of the human being; however humans in the Western world are actually quite strange,” explains Pontzer, who finally concludes: “I think we can learn a lot more from other cultures about how the human brain works. body”.