Given that millions of people will be on their post-Christmas diets, it’s nice to see some sensible messages getting out on a couple of paleo diet blogs about the fallacy of the “eat less, exercise more” method of losing weight – otherwise known as the calorie myth.
Here’s what Dr. John Briffa has to say on his blog, in advance of the release of his latest book, Escape The Diet Trap:
Many people will be tempted to take the oft-touted approach of ‘eating less and exercising more’. Here’s what we know from the science about these approaches:
1. Calorie-controlled diets rarely lead to significant, sustained weight loss
2. Adding aerobic exercise to a ‘diet’ generally does precious little to improve the results
These facts (and they are facts) appear to defy logic and common sense. But as I describe in my new book Escape the Diet Trap published today, there are several well-understood mechanisms through which ‘eating less and exercising more’ destines the majority of us to weight loss failure.
Note that he’s not saying that reducing calories won’t lead to initial weight loss. He’s saying that the evidence shows that it won’t lead to sustainable weight loss. Crystal Fieldhouse takes up the argument on her excellent Eat Sleep Move blog:
When any government organisation or weight-loss guru advocate eating less and exercising more to lose weight, they are really trying to bend and contort the Calories In vs Calories Out principle into a weight loss strategy.
To apply this principle to weight loss they are forced to make some assumptions.
That the only two variables that impact our body fat stores are the calories we consume and the calories we expend.
THIS IS WRONG.
She goes on to outline exactly why, identifying ten other variables which we need to take into account:
2. Hormonal signalling
3. Metabolic rate
4. Sleep deprivation
5. Stress levels
7. Food toxins
8. Food sensitivities
9. Environmental pathogens and gut flora
To understand more about how these variables affect our weight loss efforts, read Crystal’s full article here. The information here goes some way towards explaining why the paleo diet has helped so many of us bust through the calorie myth (I’m probably not the only person who has started following the paleo diet and been amazed at how much weight can melt off whilst eating lavish amounts of satisfying real food – food which stops us from falling foul of the variables Crystal describes).
And if you’re interested in understanding more about why a calorie isn’t a calorie isn’t a calorie, here’s obesity researcher Zoe Harcombe soundly debunking the calorie myth:
Has the paleo approach helped you to escape the diet trap? Inspire others by sharing your story below!
Brian Cormack Carr is a freelance writer and coach whose mission in life is to help YOU do what you were designed for.
His home on the web is YourPrimalLife.com where you will find more articles, freebies, and information about his online career-creation programme VitalVocation.com – 12 sessions of virtual coaching from Brian for just $20!