People should know by now that too much of anything is bad for the body, but in case some didn't get the memo, science backs this knowledge up, especially when it comes to weight loss methods.
Anthropologist Herman Pontzer from the Department of Anthropology of the City University of New York and his team of researchers published their study in Current Biology on Jan. 28 to dispel the idea that obesity can be prevented by doing more exercise.
The study titled "Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaptation to Physical Activity in Adult Humans" showed proof that just increasing the amount of exercise would be helpful with weight loss efforts. This is because the metabolic rate of humans would just adjust to an individual's level of physical activities.
The findings are not unheard of but the fact that scientific proof exists to back the notion up may hopefully get more people to believe that more exercise means more calories and fat burned, which leads to bigger weight loss.
"Our analyses of total energy expenditure and physical activity support a Constrained total energy expenditure model. Rather than increasing linearly, in the dose-dependent manner predicted by Additive total energy expenditure models, the relationship between physical activity and total energy expenditure plateaued over the upper range [...]," the study indicates.
To put it simply, Pontzer and his team found that higher weight loss with higher activity levels only happens when subjects who are not always active adopt a more active lifestyle with high-intensity activities.
However, for individuals who are already active in the gym and follow the same high-intensity exercise regimen, a weight loss plateau happens wherein the body's metabolic levels adjust to the intensity of the activity and burn less calorie and fat.
"Too little, and we're unhealthy, but too much and the body makes big adjustments in order to adapt," Pontzer said.
Pontzer also clarifies that the study aimed to show that maintaining a healthy diet should also be given focus when it comes to weight loss, not just gym membership.