Friday, July 20

Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work?

    Eat less and exercise more to lose weight.

    How is this working for you? The fact is that when you restrict calories (eat less) you get hungry! Have you tried it? What happens? If you’re like most people you can probably manage your hunger for a couple of weeks even months but it then becomes a test of endurance and we can tell you who will win out in the end…..Hunger will make sticking to your new regime almost impossible and not only that, hormonal imbalance will drive “overeating and weight gain” once the restriction has gone. Why?

    Our bodies have built in something we call a 'set point weight'.  This is a survival instinct brought about during periods of limited resource, stress or starvation.  during these times the body does all it can to maintain what it had set as your 'set weight point' . If you force the body beyond this point it remembers where it was before you put it under stress, when your dieting stops the body stores as much fat as it can to return the known set point. However the bodies set point weight only works in one direction, this is up, it has no limit on gaining weight and is quite happy to to store more and more fat for future periods of lack.

    Both calorie restriction along with willpower and exercise cause stress which should be avoided. You are far more likely to succeed and achieve the weight loss you desire when you are not stressed. When stressed the Adrenal glands produce cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol result in the body going into preserve mode and weight loss stalls. In addition stress hormones are produced which in turn increases glucose levels, which leads to increased insulin production, weight gain and a whole host of other potential health related issues, including diabetes, syndrome x, heart disease Etcetera. The evidence against using exercise as a weight loss tool is huge, one should not be used to enable or enhance the other, always address excess weight issues before fitness. Remember diet is the key to your weight loss goals and exercise is a fitness tool.

    "Reduced fat and calorie intake and frequent use of low calorie food products have been associated with a paradoxial increase in the prevalence of obesity" - Drs Heini & Weinsier

    Let’s take another look at the Minnesota Experiment.  This study was conducted 60 years ago and was an effort to assess the effects of starvation on the human body as well as how best to re-nourish it.  Sound familiar?  It should do because this is what you are doing to your body every time you embark on anther fad diet or weight loss programme…In the final phase of this 56 week long experiment, the 36 male volunteers were given an unrestricted rehabilitation period lasting 8 weeks for re-nourishment following a programme of restricted eating.  What happened?  Left to their own devices they ate huge quantities of food!  Eating more than 4000 calories a day for several weeks driven by a strong desire to overeat…The experiment noted that the “extreme” eating was directly related to the extent of weight lost: the more weight an individual lost, the more the drive to over eat and to such an extent that by the time eating returned to normal, fat levels were 75% higher than at the start of the study.

    So why do we keep doing it?  If your aim is to lose weight and to keep it off in the long-term you must embrace a way of eating that keeps you satisfied and that can keep your hunger at bay. Think diet not dieting and what Paleo will do for you! You must place your emphasis on eating nutrient dense truly satisfying food and become familiar with those foods that will do this for you….and here’s a clue, it’s not carbohydrates!

    As for eat less and exercise more?

    As the evidence suggests, you're probably flogging a dead horse!

    Related Articles:


22 comments:

Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? | Paleo Works | Scoop.it said...

[...] background-position: 50% 0px; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } paleoworks.wordpress.com - Today, 8:17 [...]

shiningsoulyoga said...

This is a great post in the fact that people need to learn that you cannot starve yourself and expect to have the energy to exercise and be well. It may be a quick fix, but in the long run it will cause you to crash and burn and gain everything back that you tried to lose, as you mention in your article.

However, I do think it is important to acknowledge that weight-loss and maintenence is very much a balance of calories in and calories out, so people should educate themselves on the right number of calories for their bodies and activity level.

PaleoWorks said...

Thank you for your comment it is much appreciated. However your last point is misleading at best and contradictory. It is these misconceptions that are the root cause of the present situation with obesity and syndrome X we have in today's modern societies. The energy in energy out hypothesis as you describe when applied to humans or animals for that matter is totally irrelevant. It is based on the laws of thermodynamics and calorific values, which are fine in mathematics and physics but not so in biology which includes the human biochemistry. There are four major flaws in this theory though without going into all of them, I would point out that our bodies simply don't burn calories in the same way as a calorimeter does. Once this point is acknowledged all other bets are effectively off.

Stephanie said...

There are also some great talking points in this post that can be used in rebuttal to the oh-so-common, "Eat less exercise more" mantra. Great blog!

thevicouple said...

I agree that it is not just "eat less, exercise more." The more I learn it seems that although exercise is important, it is far outweighed by the type of foods we eat.

You can exercise 2 hours everyday and not lose weight or feel good about your body, but if the diet was to change you might only need to exercise 15 minutes a day and see great results. Diet is key.

PaleoWorks said...

It's true, when looking to lose weight, you don't need exercise at all. Exercise is a fitness tool not a weight loss tool :)

inherchucks said...

So glad I found your blog. Filled with tons of knowledge and insight. I can completely agree where you are coming from. When I was pregnancy with my daughter I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was forced to alter my diet. I found that it was the best change I could have ever made. I felt the best I had ever felt not eating sugar. I look forward to learning more.

Thanks for the like :)...on my grapefruit poppy seed bread! obviously not part of the paleo diet :)

Lian Munday said...

Reblogged this on From Gastric Band to Fitness and commented:
I don't know about probably flogging a dead horse, I'd say you are defo flogging a dead horse! Excellent post from PaleoWorks !!

Stephanie said...

Reblogged!

Stephanie said...

Reblogged this on and commented:
PaleoWorks tells us that eating less, exercising more may be a flawed theory.

Lighter Life or Primal Eating and Why Paleo Works « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Why Paleo? Twitter Facebook RSS Feed ← Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? [...]

Lighter Life Review and Why Paleo Works « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Why Paleo? Twitter Facebook RSS Feed ← Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? [...]

Stop Emotional Eating « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] sugar instability is an issue.  When blood sugar levels drop, our bodies respond by secreting stress hormones – like adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone) and one side effect of this is increased [...]

Dukan v Paleo « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Walk 20 minutes a day and avoid all elevators and stairs? Of course the only reason for this is to make the diet work and get results faster, which is totally the wrong approach. Firstly remember exercise is a fitness tool and although it has several benefits including social interaction and may also be used by professional athletes to make the grade, it has no place in weight loss for the man or woman in the street. If you are several pounds (or even stones) overweight, just moving around is all the exercise you need worry about. Think diet as your weight loss tool.  Eating the right foods is all you need to do to achieve almost effortless weight loss. Remember exercise less, eat more (of the right foods) rather than eat less exercise more. [...]

casualcyclist said...

As a real world example that this is true, I once started at 100 kg and lost 25 kg in around 4 months by exercising for 4 hours a day and eating one meal a day. First, this is not a very nice way to live. Second, I returned to eating “normally” and slowly gained weight over about a 10 year period. I ended up at 115 kg. So much for ‘set point weight’ because I went way past my old weight.

I have now made a lifestyle choice that involves eating plenty of whole foods and very little processed foods and exercising a little every day. I like my new lifestyle and as a result of it, my fitness is slowly improving and my weight is slowly decreasing. This is not a diet because there is no end point. This is how I live now (http://is.gd/84zmE9).

I have not found that ‘set point weight’ if you choose to live a ‘paleo’ lifestyle. I am 22 kg lighter than my maximum weight and there is not way my body is trying to get back to that old weight. I’m simply not hungry because I eat well and keep my body fuelled.

Tammy J. Answer Your Question About Fat Burning Foods For Teenagers | Fat Burning Diet said...

[...] No Worse Than Other Sugars for Weight Gain: StudyIt’s Not Your Metabolism, It’s You.Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-9651630-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); [...]

The Truth About Exercise « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] needing to lose weight or just desiring to be a little leaner, the advice is the same. Eat less, exercise more! Simple,, right? Well it seems not and looks like we’ve all been pretty well brain washed by [...]

Best Exercise for Fat Burn « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? (paleoworks.wordpress.com) [...]

Obese: A Year to Save My Life « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Why Paleo? Twitter Facebook RSS Feed ← On wild horses and freedom Eat Less Exercise More: Does It Work? → [...]

Dieting Doesn’t Work « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] a natural diet from Paleo Works may be just such a time.  When all around you friends are ‘dieting‘ frantically for the “spring summer season” and challenging your paleo principles you [...]

How Stress Can Make You Fat « Paleo Works: How To Diet said...

[...] Eat Less Exercise More 53.919064 -1.802258 Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggPinterestLinkedInRedditDeliciousTumblrStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

MamaDragon said...

My husband was tired of feeling just unwell, and unhealthy. He has spent the last year on the Paleo diet and it has changed him. He has lost his unwanted weight, and improved his overall health. It is simply sad that government guidelines, and market trends so often dictate 'advice'. Then the consequences are shrugged off, or blamed on something else.