Thursday, 29 March 2012

Eat Less, Move mo........wha? Wait a minute

Eat less, Move more, pretty much everyone on the blogosphere is now almost universally agreed that to lose weight, you need to control calories in, calories out.

Horizone BBC had this episode a few weeks ago about exercise, in it, they show that the benefits of exercise can be achieved with as little as 3 minutes per week. What did they do? They had a guy pedal on the stationary cycle at pretty much maximum intensity for 20 seconds, let him rest a few minutes, then repeat, for a total of 1 minute spent exercising. Its referred to as HIIT in the gym goers world ( probably because you feel like youve been HIIT in the head after doing it ).

HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training.

Just do this 3 times per week, and you get all the benefits of savy gym rat.

What benefits are we talking about? Weight loss? Well no. In the show they actually perform another experiment where the reporter runs around for a few minutes and becomes completely out of breath, he is then told that he was burning on average, 16 calories per minute. Thats not even a teaspoon of sugar!

Later on in the show, we learn that the reporter's 3 minutes per week exercise did actually help him in some way, he scored slightly better in a OGTT. Thats it! Thats the REAL benefit of exercise, improved glucose tolerance. Was this exercise strategy enough to cross the lactate threshold to breed new mitochondria?

No Idea.

Anyway, I came across this video today, and at 3:12 the speaker mentions how running a marathon only burns 2600 calories. If your a well trained athlete, you can expect to complete a marathon in 2hours 30minutes, burning 17.3 calories per minute. On the other hand, if your just an average joe, you can expect to crawl across the line after about 4hours 30minutes. How many calories per minute is that? Depressingly less!

At this point I was reminded of something I saw in the comments section of this post, by blogblog, he says...

every exercise physiologist knows that exercise is completely useless for weight loss. If exercise was effective for weight loss there would be no humans because our ancestors would have starved to death a couple of million years ago. We lose 80% of our energy intake as heat. So wearing fewer clothes is a vastly more effective way to lose weight than exercise.

It appears he is right. Oh, And lets now forget how the worlds only known fat loss drug works, it doesnt mind control you and make you hit the bench press and squat rack, No. All it does is increase thermogenesis.

Eat Less Move More? Its half wrong already!. Just gotta work on that other half now.

1 comment:

  1. After some further consideration, it is evident that exercise does play a critical role in body composition.

    I think the above arguments miss the point slightly, exercise improves muscle and peripheral insulin sensitivity, what this means is that, after a meal, more nutrients are delivered to the peripheral instead of being delivered to the fat cells.

    So, while exercise is ineffective for depleting current levels of fat mass, exercise is however effective in partitioning calories from future meals towards the peripheral instead of towards the fat cells.