As Americans get fatter with each passing decade, the question remains, which is more effective to maintain proper weight, diet or exercise? Some will say you HAVE to exercise in order to lose or maintain weight…others will say diet is more important, the old “calories in versus calories out” theory.
So which seems to make the greatest impact?
A study published on July 25, 2012 seems to indicate that diet is more important. This study analyzed the energy expenditure of Hadza hunter-gatherers of Africa versus the energy expenditure of your average American…and the results surprised the scientists. It seems American and Hadza expend the same amount of energy. So this study would seem to indicate that activity level alone is not the determining factor in leanness versus obesity.
Wait a minute..
Before you go settle yourself on the couch with your salad, and give up on your work-outs…let’s dig a tad further into the facts if you don’t mind.
If all you want is to be thin, then diet alone may work for you and can help you achieve that goal. HOWEVER, thinness and health are not synonymous. If you want to be in shape and healthy inside and out, then you may not want to scratch exercise off your to do list just yet.
A study published in 2007, showed it is possible to be thin and unhealthy.
“‘Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,’ said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London. Since 1994, Bell and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to create ‘fat maps’ showing where people store fat.
According to the data, people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim. ‘The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined,’ said Bell, whose research is funded by Britain’s Medical Research Council.”
So what does this mean?
It means that not only are 73% of Americans overweight – with 33% obese – but of the people with healthy BMIs – basal metabolic rate – 60% of males and 45% of female are fat on the inside
This means that only a tad over 10% of American males are of truly of healthy weight and fit, and a tad over 17% of females!
Scary if you ask me.
So what is the best form of exercise?
The one you will do regularly and enjoy…BUT be aware also of the wear and tear on your body of any exercise regimen. For me after trying many exercise regimens from running to lifting weights….I have settled for T-tapp and walking.