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The idea that we can eat less or exercise more without affecting appetite & energy is wrong, Taubes
Monday, October 31, 2011 11:55 am Email this article
The belief that we can eat less without it affecting our energy levels, or exercise more without it affecting our appetite, is wrong notes Gary Taubes in his excellent book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It.
"The very notion that expending more energy than we take in -- eating less and exercising more -- can cure us of our weight problem, make us permanently leaner and lighter, is based on yet another assumption about the laws of thermodynamics that happens to be incorrect," Taubes writes. Eating Less Will Reduce Energy Levels
Eating less will reduce energy levels; Exercising more increases appetite
“The assumption is that the energy we consume and the energy we expend have little influence on each other, that we can consciously change one and it will have no consequence on the other, and vice versa,” Taubes writes.
“The thinking is that we can choose to eat less, or semi-starve ourselves (reduce calories-in), and this will have no effect on how much energy we subsequently expend (calories-out) or, for that matter, how hungry we become.
“We’ll feel just as full of pep if we eat twenty-five hundred calories a day as if we consume half that amount.
“And by the same token, if we increase our expenditure of energy, it will have no influence on how hungry we become (we won’t work up an appetite) or on how much energy we expend when we’re not exercising.
“Intuitively we know this isn’t true, and the research in both animals and humans, going back a century, confirms it.
People Who Starve Themselves Are Hungry, And Exercise Less
People who starve themselves are hungry all the time, reduce their physical activity, and are cold all the time
“People who semi-starve themselves, or who are semi-starved during wars, famines, or scientific experiments, are not only hungry all the time (not to mention cranky and depressed) but lethargic, and they expend less energy.
“Their body temperatures drop; they tend to be cold all the time.
“And increasing physical activity does increase hunger; exercise does work up an appetite; lumbeijacks do eat more than tailors.
“Physical activity also makes us tired; it wears us out.
“We expend less energy when the activity is over.
“In short, the energy we consume and the energy we expend are dependent on each other.
“Mathematicians would say they are dependent variables, not independent variables, as they have typically been treated.
“Change one, and the other changes to compensate.
“To a great extent, if not entirely, the energy we expend from day to day and week to week will determine how much we consume, while the energy we consume and make available to our cells (a key point, as I will discuss later) will determine how much we expend.
“The two are that intimately linked.
“Anyone who argues differently is treating an extraordinarily complex living organism as though it were a simple mechanical device.”
This is a MUST-READ Book
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight… or anyone who believes that saturated fat is bad for you… or anyone who believes that carbohydrates are good for you… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by a lack of will power… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little (yes, of course this is true, but this does not answer the question as to why people eat too much and exercise too little, which Taubes answers in this book).
I highly recommend this book.
Gary Taubes is an excellent science journalist.
His previous books include “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, a longer book which is also about low-carb diets, but is a much longer book.
Other Articles from This Book, Why We Get Fat
Articles from Gary Taubes current book, Why We Get Fat
Other Articles from Good Calories, Bad Calories
Articles about Gary Taubes previous book, Good Calories, Bad Calories
Contact info for Gary Taubes
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