14 thoughts on “Counting Calories Burned”

  1. Very interesting. Although you can’t run away from a bad diet, this line from the article is pertinent: “People who exercise are less likely to gain weight in the first place”

    Exercise is somewhat of an appetite suppressant.

    1. Or maybe people who exercise have less time to overeat? When I was in my 20s, I was as thin as Axl Rose. And my exercise consisted entirely of lying down atop energetic girls. “Stop for a snack?! Don’t be silly.”

  2. This runs directly counter to my lifelong personal experience. When I excersize more, my weight goes down, less, up. My caloric intake is steady, with roughly the same balance of fat, protein, and carbs all the time. Not a “bad” diet per se, but certainly not the low-fat, carb-heavy diet recommended by nutritionists. I (at age 71) also have a rare metabolic disorder I share with one of my sisters (currently 60), my dad (lived to be 87) and his mother (lived to be 91). I have no theories about any of it. Dad died from cancer, grandma from congestive heart fa,ilure.

  3. This is why some of the exercise programs push muscle confusion or some such term about always changing the stresses your body is under so that it doesn’t adapt and stop building muscle and/or burning fat.

    I guess this guy looked at a lot of pee but I’m not sold and I am also not going to go collect a bunch of pee, so it looks like it will remain another diet and exercise mystery.

  4. I’ve lost more than 30 pounds twice in my life: 30 one time and 50 another. Both times I did it with diet. I did not do one tiny bit of exercise.

    I understand the benefits of exercise but it had no bearing on the weight loss at all.

    1. I lost 85 pounds once, but it was from an illness. Last year, I lost 17 pounds unintentionally over the course of 6 months just from being busy. As I explained to my doctor, I didn’t have time to eat my usual volume of steak and baked potatoes. The danger of dieting without exercise is, you can trigger a metabolic famine response and regain weight that will be much tougher to lose.

  5. Unquestionably, if one does enough exercise — such as, say, condition for competing in the Tour de France — then the energy demands of such exercise require a vast increase in caloric input.

    Watch (part of episode 2 of) physicist Philip Morrison’s intriguing Ring of Truth video series, where he analyzes the energy budget of Tour de France participants — here — advance to 21:00. (Then back up to 8:34 earlier in the episode to see a charming, scientific Rube Goldberg machine….)

  6. I read Rand’s blog regularly, though I’ve only posted a handful of times. This, however jumped out at me from the article and squares absolutely with my own experiences (more on that in a moment):

    “…Thyfault warns that message may do more harm than good. People who exercise are less likely to gain weight in the first place, and those who exercise while they diet tend to keep weight off better…”

    Now, about my experiences. Lost about 90 lbs the year after high school (some 40-odd years ago). I know from what I’ve read statistically I should have gained it back within five years–the percentage of folks losing that much and keeping it off after 5 years is in the low-ish single digits. I’ve had minor weight excursions (and corresponding course corrections) over the years, but it’s basically stayed off. Why? More than anything else, exercise. And for exactly the reasons Thyfault stated. It seems to have a stabilizing influence. Maybe it’s just being more aware of, in touch with, your body, but it makes a difference. At least for me. Lose weight? Yeah, gonna cut the Kcals’ and my diet has evolved over the years, fewer carbs, more veggies. LOTS more veggies. YMMV… Lose weight strictly from dieting, probably not. But as a weight-management tool, it’s been invaluable.

  7. Interesting article. As someone who was still on the fat-boy regimen while in the Army despite being in pretty good shape (thank you stupid BMI index), I’ve always struggled with excess weight. 4 years of college plus 20+ years in an office doesn’t help either.

    I hate exercise to just exercise, but every summer I drop a significant amount of weight as outdoor activities increase. When I have focused on an exercise regimen, I will usually drop 20-25 lbs in body fat then start gaining weight from muscle mass.

  8. Also, it was nice to read a science article without any political commentary (or at least I didn’t detect any). A rarity IMHO.

    1. That you didn’t clearly receive the rich, resonant political content reverberating through every paragraph simply proves that you are a white supremacist.

      You are hereby cancelled.

Comments are closed.