NY Times – “For Weight Loss, Less Exercise May Be More”


Good article except when the author concludes: “the relationship between working out and losing weight remains complicated and tangled.” My $0.02: It’s quite simple once we’re able to let go of the myths and marketing of the past 40 years. Here’s a quick stab at simplifying:

– It’s easier to eat calories than it is to burn calories and the calories most people eat do hormonal damage that no quantity of traditional exercise will undo
– It’s only when we exercise less—but smarter, that we work to fix the hormonal problem at the root of weight gain while also not stimulating an inSANE appetite

Exercise less—smarter…and remember that slim is simple when we stick with science.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/is-30-minutes-of-daily-exercise-a-sweet-spot-for-weight-loss/

>>>>>>>
Wanted to share a quick comment and my reply on this from Facebook:

Commenter
I understand you’re in the *business* of weight loss, and I generally find all that you post interesting and educational,, but I have to draw the line at your self-serving disparagement of a journalist’s caution saying ‘the relationship between working out and losing weight remains complicated and tangled” –

your *approach* notwithstanding, fact is: *it is.*. Complicated. Tangled. Frustrating. Not as simple as applying a ‘recipe. All because the human body is enormously complex, human chemistry astoundingly individual and the body exquisitely adaptable. Even SANE approaches will lose a degree of efficacy over time because the body *responds* to change and desires to be static. Which is *part* of the reason plateaus happen.

The relationship between hormones and weight is ENORMOUSLY complex and not easily understood by the majority of the populations because of lagging information and education. As a person who’s struggled with weight her entire life, courtesy oF PCOS, I can speak first hand to that. And to the amount of reading and continual life modifications I had to make to lose my current 70lbs.

Don’t take a cheap shot at a well written article to score points for your business by proclaiming how ‘simole’ it is.

Jonathan
Thank you for the insightful feedback. My apologies for seemingly trivializing this issue. My intention was more to steer people away from thinking that health is a hopelessly complex mess when it seems that barring unique medical conditions, it can’t be. Humans avoided obesity and diabetes for hundreds of thousands of years without “trying”…and much less intelligent mammals continue to do so simply by eating the foods they evolved to eat.

I think that the “complexity” comes from trying to accomplish this potentially simple task while using approaches that have been proven ineffective. Imagine trying to accomplish the potentially simple task of avoiding lung cancer in a world where we are told that smoking is good for us. Now this otherwise simple task would quickly become quite complex. I fear that we are experiencing a similar fate with food and exercise.

Often I find that those who advocate failed traditional methods respond to studies like this one with sentiments like “this is really complex,” and then turn around and tell people to “simply” eat less and exercise more, all while failing to acknowledge before anyone counted calories or went to gyms we were healthier than we are today.

In short: It seems that not dying (aka maintaining health) is the most basic ability any organism can ever have. The complexity comes from trying to achieve the goal of health using unhealthy approaches.

Thank you for your support and feedback, and I hope this helps to tame what may seem like an overly cavalier sentiment in my original post.

PS There’s also an important distinction to be made between something being “simple” and something being “easy.” One could certainly argue that maintaining health in the modern world is simple but not at all easy.