Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bad Science

Time magazine published an article recently about exercise and food.

It's worth reading if you're interesting in watching an exercise in spurious logic, bad science, and conclusions based on supposition.

Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin

It starts out well - here's the subtitle blurb:

Whether because exercise makes us hungry or because we want to reward ourselves, many people eat more — and eat more junk food, like doughnuts — after going to the gym.

Okay, fair enough, exercise makes you hungry, and some people make very poor diet decisions.

But that's not where the article goes. It basically concludes that if exercise makes you hungry and you make poor food decisions after exercising, then exercising is the problem.

What?

No, exercising is not the problem. Poor food choices is the problem. If you spend an hour on the cycle because you want to burn calories (not the best way to exercise anyway, but still...) and then you eat 2x that many calories in the form of doughnuts, the doughnuts are the problem, not the cycling.

Let's look at the very end of the article:

In short, it's what you eat, not how hard you try to work it off, that matters more in losing weight.

Yes, that's why it's "diet and exercise" not "exercise and diet." Good food choices trump good exercise choices, although in tandem they're a killer way to enhance your health.

Then it goes on:
You should exercise to improve your health, but be warned: fiery spurts of vigorous exercise could lead to weight gain. I love how exercise makes me feel, but tomorrow I might skip the VersaClimber — and skip the blueberry bar that is my usual postexercise reward.

No, don't skip the VersaClimber, skip the blueberry bar "reward." Learn to make good food choices, not the associate "exercise" with "allowed to eat junk food."

This guy basically says we're self-sabotaging after we exercise, so exercise is the problem, not the sabotage. We can't help ourselves, you see. It's washing your hands of your responsibility for your diet.

1 comment:

  1. You can't train your brain! That only works with... rats and stuff. --Time magazine

    ReplyDelete

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