Getting Thinner- It's all about our Food, Exercise has a much smaller role

Getting Thinner- It's all about our Food, 
exercise has a much smaller role

On June 15, 2015, The New York Times published a review of many years of study on the question: what helps us lose weight more- eating less or exercising more?


As many who have discussed this question in our practice already know, diet trumps exercise, to a surprisingly great degree.

The key benefits of exercise all rest in helping any organ in our body work better.  People who are physically active experience better function of their lungs, their heart, their bones, and their brains.  They tend to live longer.  But they do not tend to be thinner.

One's weight is determined far more by what one eats than how much one moves.  That is because our bodies are so efficient.  It takes very few calories to move our body around, even quite a bit.

One of my favorite illustrations of this amazing fact has to do with the comparison between the energy it takes to run a full marathon compared to the energy in a common hamburger sold.

It turns out the energy burned to run a full marathon actually equals the energy in a Big Mac from McDonald's.

Imagine that, you could run to the point of utter exhaustion, over 20 miles, and if you eat a Big Mac afterwords, it is as if you did not eat anything or run at all, it comes out as a zero change in energy status.  Incredible.

Many years ago, the PBS science show NOVA did a piece on a group of 20 or so older adults, none of whom had exercised at all for many, many years.  Over a one year period, the study got all of these volunteers up to running at least 5 miles a day, and capped the year by running a full marathon.  Of all these people whose level of exercise increased so very dramatically, only one lost any weight during the year.  That would be the one person who took the opportunity to change what she ate, she was the only one of those running at least 5 miles a day, and training for a marathon, to lose any weight.

So, I hope you find the article interesting.  The level of evidence on this point is now quite convincing.

Which means, if you want to lose weight, or if you are growing would like to gain weight more slowly, then drink only water (not juice, milk, or soda), limit snacks to only fruits and vegetables, and eat smaller portions.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.

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