You Won’t Lose Weight Merely by Cutting Calories

Here’s a cross post from my other site, Power Law Fitness™. It’s a cut-and-paste job right now. I’m experimenting with various plugins that don’t require this, but I have yet to find one that works.

So if any of you are mavens, I’d welcome any advice on this!


In the “ridiculously obvious but necessary to revisit constantly” category, scientists in Oregon have concluded that reducing caloric intake is not enough to promote significant weight loss. Test subjects (rhesus monkeys) who substantially reduced their caloric intake but did not increase their physical activity did not lose weight. Per the researchers:

This study demonstrates that there is a natural body mechanism which conserves energy in response to a reduction in calories. Food is not always plentiful for humans and animals and the body seems to have developed a strategy for responding to these fluctuations

This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. During periods of resource scarcity, the human (and primate) body goes into conservation mode. And conserving body fat is the easiest way to “bank” lots of calories for future energy output needs.

Bottom line, you needn’t deprive yourself of food if you want to lose weight.

Just watch what you eat (i.e. don’t eat “junk carbs”) and be sure to get in some higher intensity strength training in addition to some lighter and lower impact endurance workouts.

Remember, it’s not the body weight that matters – it’s the body composition.

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