In what is one of the most discussed diet-related findings of the year, researchers have apparently unambiguously found that diet is significantly more important than exercise in the battle against obesity. This might come as a disappointment to those who love eating and don’t mind spending time sweating at the gym. On the other hand it might be good news for those that hate the treadmill and don’t mind saying no to second helpings.
The evidence for these findings comes from studying tribes whose lifestyles have been virtually unchanged for the last 10,000 years. The members of these tribes live like textbook hunter gatherers, working a few hours every day to pick fruits and vegetables, and only eating meat very occasionally. Studies conducted with members of this tribe have shown that our calorie requirements are fixed and not correlated with exertion. The metabolic rates of these modern day hunter gatherers are not measurably different to the fat slob watching tv in his studio flat, despite the great difference in physical activity.
All of this suggests that if you want to lose weight, you just need to eat less. Don’t stop going to the gym as it will make you feel better and more motivated, but cut down on your calories if you want to shed those pounds. To lose a pound a week, you need to maintain a daily 500 calorie deficiency. This means taking great care in reading nutritional labels and portion management.