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Why Exercising Does Not Always Cause Weight Loss

Have you ever noticed that some people will not lose weight in spite of exercising? Apparently, this is because our bodies respond to higher activity by adapting to them, according to a new study published in Current Biology.

physical activity

A new research explains why exercising more will not necessarily lead to weight loss. While exercising is important for health, as says one of the authors, Herman Pontzer from City University of New York (a fact which the new findings do not deny or contradict), it is not the only aspect of losing calories. Rather, Pontzer describes their results as a reminder of both diet and exercise being important to losing weight.

Pontzer noticed the trend among a population of traditional hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, the Hadza. He noticed that they were specially physically active as they had to walk long distances daily. However, the daily energy expenditures of these people were similar to people from sedentary lifestyles in Europe and the US. This apparent discrepancy prompted him to rethink the association between activity and energy expenditure.

Therefore, he and his team measured the daily energy expenditure as well as the levels of activity of over 300 men and women for one week. They found that people with moderate activity levels had higher daily energy expenditures (about 200 calories higher) than the majority of sedentary people. On the other hand, those with above moderate activity levels had no effect of the extra work on energy expenditure.

Pontzer summarised the results as follows:-

Those who were the most physically active spent the same amount of calories daily as those who were moderately active.

Based on these results, the researchers write that we should stop presuming that more physical activity is necessarily linked with more calories. It appears that too much of physical activity causes the body to make big adjustments to adapt. How does the body adapt to it? The researchers intend to find out with more studies.


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