New research in a hunter-gatherer community seems to indicate that managing what that you eat is more important than exercise in determining how much weight you gain (or lose).
A study into energetics and obesity in the Hazda people of Tanzania revealed that although physical activity levels were much higher for Hazda men and women than their western counterparts, once size and weight were taken into account their metabolic rates were pretty similar. This was something of a surprise, as most people would expect that Hazda people, and others living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle would burn many more calories than their more sedentary equivalents in more ‘developed’ societies. Energy expenditure looks more complex than a simple linear relationship. But what did become apparent was that although physical activity does seem important in keeping you healthy, it won’t keep the weight off. It looks like we need to stick to eating less to do that.
So, if you’re relying on your workout to give you permission to eat more, think again. If your goal is to lose weight, you’re probably not doing as well as you could be.