If you’re ready to drop a few pounds — or a lot of weight — it’s likely best to stop chomping on pizza and donuts instead of continuing to eat them and trying to run off the calories on the treadmill. That’s the premise of the below video from Vox, which is getting plenty of attention.
Uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, June 29, the video describes the findings of a plethora of studies on weight loss examined by Vox.
Basically, the gist of the video claims that going to the gym to try and burn off a bunch of calories gleaned from a bad diet is not as effective for weight loss as not eating all the bad junk to begin with. The findings don’t specifically describe how weightlifting and muscle-building act to burn more calories after workouts than cardio-type of exercises. However, they make it clear that what a person eats can have a bigger impact upon their weight loss goals than how many hours they put in at the gym.
Indeed, even gym rats have sayings like “abs are made in the kitchen.” Those idioms recognize that no matter how heavy and hard you might train your abdominal muscles, they probably won’t show through the layers of fat until you adjust your diet to cut your body fat to a percentage that allows them to be seen.
With the study calling exercise “pretty useless” when it comes to weight loss, the video is getting a lot of backlash in the comments section on YouTube. The combination of a better diet along with intense exercise is what most folks agree can have a positive effect when it comes to weight loss.
The video’s interviewed experts still note just how important exercise is to a person’s well-being and overall health, but it seeks to do away with the notion that jumping on an elliptical machine and not changing your eating habits will cause significant weight loss.
It breaks down the way that bodies use energy in three different ways, with only the third part of energy expenditure puzzle being physical activity. The video is informative in that it notes that a person’s basal resting metabolism has a lot to do with how many calories they normally burn while going about their daily activities — or doing nothing.
While people might not have a lot of control over their metabolism, they can control the foods they eat. It notes a study that found that if a 200-pound man ran for one hour four days per day — but did nothing else to change his diet — he could lose about five pounds.
Also noted was the fact that exercise can make people hungrier, with some folks choosing to eat back the calories they might have burned off. However, the video didn’t address those who keep up a slight calorie deficit while exercising and don’t overeat as a result.
It noted a study from 2012 that studied Tanzanian hunter-gatherers and how much energy they burned. Active all day, the men were lean — but had around the same metabolism rates as adults in the U.S. and Europe. The difference was that they didn’t overeat to make up for the calories they burned.
Americans must realize the hour-long run that it would take to burn off a Big Mac and fries, or the hour of vigorous dancing it would take to burn off three glasses of wine with dinner, says the study. The big exercise push is fueled by food and drink companies like Coca-Cola, who want people to keep drinking sodas and then burning them off at the gym — instead of forgoing the sodas altogether.
In the top photo above, people can be seen relaxing after their yoga session in Hanoi, Vietnam.
[Photo by Hau Dinh/AP Images]