Daily ROD (Research of the Day) – It’s not about how many calories you burn…

In an endeavour to keep myself up to date and always learning I’m going to try to take something out of James Chestnuts Book and read one journal article every day – Although we’ll see how frequently I get to it as I’ve made this promise to myself multiple times.

I will post brief thoughts and a summary/synopsis based on those articles. They’ll all be interesting to me (hopefully) and useful for you (in one way or another).

Todays Article:

Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity


They measured the energy expenditure (amount of calories burned throughout the entire day) of Hunter-Gatherers (the ones that still exist today) as well as matched controls in the western world.

What they found:

  • Hadza (hunter-gatherers/Foragers) and their western counterparts had the same total energy expenditure per day

So what?

  • As many hear, the obesity epidemic is due to “eating too much” and “moving too little” – not so according to this study as we burn the same TOTAL NUMBER of calories per day as those who have better chronic health markers
  • So how do we take this info? It means that what we’re putting in our mouths is very important. Hunter-Gatherers aren’t gathering wheat or beans. They gather tubers, roots, berries, and freshly killed animals (who happen to be the highest quality meat you could possibly find)
  • Energy expenditure was the same BUT, and it’s a huge BUT, the Hadza aren’t expending their calories the same way. They walk large distances, and occasionally sprint and lift heavy things (dang, I sound like Mark Sisson) – but overall, they also spend a lot of time relaxing.

Take what you will from this info (it IS only one study) but my takeaways are:

  1. If you don’t consider what’s going in your mouth, you’re losing precious ground that you shouldn’t be when it comes to health and performance
  2. Be intelligent with how you expend your energy – Sprint, lift heavy things, move slowly on a regular basis (Notice the lack of chronic 45 minute AMRAPs or 30-60 minute runs?)

Stay healthy, Friends!

Dr. Adam Ball