The illusion that every government department wants you to believe and every food company wants you to believe, is that you lose weight through exercise. No, you lose weight by getting enough sleep, having a daily rhythm and routine that suits your body, and by changing what and how much you eat. Then exercising. Research confirms this again and again.
Dr Herman Pontzer of the department of anthropology at Hunter College, New York said “…the big reason that Westerners are getting fat is because we eat too much – it’s not because we exercise too little. Being active is really important to your health but it won’t keep you thin – we need to eat less to do that. Daily energy expenditure might be an evolved trait that has been shaped by evolution and is common among all people and not some simple reflection of our diverse lifestyles”.
The ancient people studied
The diet and lifestyle of the Hadza people has changed little in 10,000 years as they still live as hunter gatherers, so they are a great model of much older human diet and lifestyles. The Hadza people forage for vegetables, berries, roots and fruit, using digging sticks and axes, and hunt animals using bows. These researchers measured energy expenditure in 30 Hadza men and women aged between 18 and 75. The physical activity, exercise and movement of the Hadza men and women were much higher than those in modern societies but when corrected for size and weight, their metabolic rate was no different.
The researchers¹ found that even amongst these ancient peoples, in their natural environment and eating their natural diet, the amount of calories we need is a fixed human characteristic. This clearly suggests that we are growing obese through over-eating rather than a sedentary lifestyle.
More people are exercising but more people are overweight
They are exercising more but still getting fatter in Brazil. When you look at the Health Ministry numbers in Brazil then the same story appears. The study survey results for the previous six years were released on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Brazil’s Health Ministry². It was based on up-to-date data from 2011 Health Ministry surveys of 54,144 people in the capitals of Brazil’s 27 different states.
The Reality Check?
- More than 48% of Brazilians are overweight – up by 5.3% since 2006
- More than 15% are obese – up by 4.4% since 2006
- Overweight men increased from 47.2% in 2006 to 52.6% in 2011
- Overweight women increased from 38.5% in 2006 to 44.7% in 2011
- Over 63% of the 35-45 age groups are now overweight – and climbing
What is the cause of this?
A lack of fruit and vegetables is a major cause given that 80% of Brazilians do not even eat five portions per day. The problem is not exercise as the proportion of sedentary males in Brazil fell from 16% in 2009 to 14.1% in 2011. So they are exercising more but still getting fatter and eating less fruits and vegetables and getting fatter. This is the generation that will sadly, not live as long as their parents. Weight loss is about many things – not just exercise.
- Study by a team of scientists from the US, Tanzania and the UK, as published in the PLoS ONE journal, 2012. As reported by bbcnews.com on July 26, 2012.
- As reported by latino.foxnews.com on April 11, 2012 from Rio de Janeiro.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.