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Why "Eat Less, Exercise More" Does Not Work For Weight Loss?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Samir Anadkat 91% (660 ratings)
fellowship in diabetes, Professional Training in Mind Body Medicine, MS, MBBS
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Ahmedabad  •  25 years experience
Why "Eat Less, Exercise More" Does Not Work For Weight Loss?

Eating less and exercising more to shed weight is a myth that has been in existence for centuries. This method fails for over 95 percent of the population who has tried to implement this procedure. If calorie is the only factor that could regulate weight loss, the question certainly arises as to why a fat person feels hungry when they already have so much of calories stored in their body? Here is a brief explanation to investigate further.

The simple answer to the weight gain and hunger problem is the hormones. A fat individual feels hungry even though there are millions of calories inside his body is because of a hormone, known as insulin. There are enough scientific experiments to back the claim. Here is a set of experiments where the participants took an equal number of calories. While one set of participants ate hormonally food, the other set did not. Here goes the result:

  • There were 87 studies conducted at the University of Florida and the result has an astonishing co-relation with weight loss and hormonally helpful food. The set of people who ate hormonally helpful food lost 12 pounds of more weight than compared to the other set who consumed the same number of calories but were not hormonally conducive.
  • Research conducted by the Cornell University studies three set of participants who were given 1800 calories every day. The set of participants who got the most hormonally helpful diet could lose 86.5% weight more than the other two set of participants.
  • 9 studies published in the reputed journal, Nutrition and Metabolism reported that people who ate hormone friendly food could lose more weight than the ones who ate not-so-hormone-favourable food.

What is the role of Insulin?
Insulin is the hormone that signals the body to increase weight. This is termed as body set weight (BSW). In other words, an increased insulin count necessarily means an increased BSW. To achieve the new weight, a person needs to eat more and decrease the total energy expenditure in the process. In other words, it is insulin that makes us fat. Eating is a sub-function of insulin response in the body.

How does the vicious cycle keep continuing?
Since insulin is the sole important factor in weight gain. There is a vicious cycle that continues around food consumption, exercise and increased insulin count. As soon as the insulin count goes up in the body, the quench for food goes up. No matter how much exercise, a person does, the appetite for food persists. The weight shed by doing exercise comes back with the consumption of more food. The net result is no-weight-loss.

So, the first step towards weight loss with this condition is to get your insulin levels under control. Also, keep the other factors affecting insulin levels under control in order to arrest any further damage to your health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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