“My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven today and we don’t know where the hell she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres
In the same way that people drink more fluids when they exercise more, they also eat more when they exercise more. Researcher Hugo R. Rony found: “Consistently high or low energy expenditures result in consistently high or low levels of appetite. Thus men doing heavy physical work spontaneously eat more than men engaged in sedentary occupations.” J.M. Friedman at Rockefeller University makes a similar point: “Exercise by itself has not been shown to be highly effective in treating obesity because the increased energy use from exercise is generally offset by increased caloric intake.”
Compounding the problem, many people who exercise more do not eat high-quality food. The majority of people get most of their calories from low-quality starches and sweeteners.Therefore, exercising more triggers the consumption of more low-quality food. More low-quality food means less need to burn body fat, more clogging, and a higher set-point. Far from burning body fat, we burn time and build-up clogs.
Here is one scenario for exercising more: Michelle goes for a 30-minute jog and burns 170 more calories than she would have burned by sitting at home and reading this book. She is trying hard to cut calories, so she does not drink any sugary sports drinks and fights through the hunger pangs after her jog. At dinner Michelle unconsciously drinks an extra glass of reduced-fat milk thanks to her increased thirst and hunger. The net result of her jog is thirteen more calories than if she had not exercised.
30 min. jog….….. -170 calories
12 oz. milk……… +183 calories
Net………….….… +13 calories
Much more commonly, people will have sweetened “power juice” while pounding it out on the treadmill. Afterward, they overeat low-quality food. The net result is more low-quality food and more clogging.
30 min. jog………………………………………………………….…….-170 calories
24 oz. sports drink………………………………………..…………….+189 calories
Extra half serving of Fettuccine Alfredo………….…………………..+390 calories
The food industry is very well aware that exercising more encourages eating more low-quality food. That’s why the following corporations serve on the executive board of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition:
- Coca-Cola Company
- Hershey Foods Corporation
- Sara Lee Corporation
- Kellogg Company
- Kraft Foods
- General Mills
- Campbell Soup Company
- ConAgra Foods
- Del Monte Foods
- Grocery Manufacturers Association
- H.J. Heinz Company
- Masterfoods USA
- National Restaurant Association
- Unilever United States
- American Association of Advertising Agencies
- American Beverage Association
- Association of National Advertisers
Are we told to exercise more because it is good for fat loss or because it is good for business? The National Soft Drink Association advises us to “consume at least eight glasses of fluids daily, even more when you exercise. A variety of beverages, including soft drinks, can contribute to proper hydration.”
But wait. If you exercise less, won’t you gain body fat? As you’ll see in future posts that depends on the type of exercise you do. In the next two posts we’ll cover how exercising less does not cause long-term fat gain and eating more does not cause long-term fat gain.
Note: Being active is good for your health. We definitely should not sit around all day. Studies consistently show that physical activity boosts life expectancy. However, they do not show that traditional cardiovascular exercise effectively burns body fat long term.
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