(Mirror Daily, United States) – It may not be news for some, but you won’t lose weight just by exercising, an observation underlined by a new study who focused on energy expenditure. It’s important to maintain balance, and focus on both regular workout sessions and a healthy diet. Just one of them separated won’t be of much help.
Lead author of the study, Herman Pontzer from the City University of New York made the observation when he was working among the Hazda. They are a population of hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania that are incredibly active. Each day, they walk long distances and do a lot of physically demanding work. However, he found that their daily expenditure of energy were not dissimilar to those with more sedentary lives in modern United States.
The researcher then conducted a study on 300 men and women, studying the amount of daily exercise along with the amount of burnt calories. They observed that more exercise does indeed burn more calories per day, but that’s only until a certain point. There’s a moment when the body hits its limit, and no matter the extra work, it won’t be spending the extra energy.
That means that the energy expenditure of people with moderate regular workouts was not that much different than those with excessive exercise. All the extra time spent exercising did not result in them actually burning off more calories. That is because their body then adapted to the activity and stopped spending as much energy as it did before for a workout session. So, in essence, moderation is still key.
According to Pontzer, his study doesn’t aim to change the notion that exercise is healthy for our body and minds. In fact, it strengthens it, but at the same time, it underlines the fact that there should also be a focus on diet. By simply exercising more and more each week, people won’t achieve their desired results. There are more factors that come into play.
People who start exercising and losing weight will notice after a few months that the rhythm of their weight loss has slowed. Their bodies have adapted to the new routine and were burning much fewer calories than they did before. After a certain point, the extra work is not worth it in terms of weight loss. However, accompanying that with a healthy diet will do the trick. So, if you think that having a pizza because you’re doing two extra laps around the park will balance itself out, it won’t.
There might be a so called “sweet spot” for physical activity to achieve the desired results. Too little and we’re unhealthy, but too much and our bodies adapt so it won’t result in continued weight loss. The trick is moderate exercise and a healthy food pallet to shed those extra pounds.
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