Exercise is good, but healthy food is better

I read somewhere that the reason humans like eating sweet and fatty stuff is evolutionary. The theory is that for a very long period of humanity’s history people were more likely to starve than get fat. As a result people ate stuff that could be stored in the body and could be used when starvation came.

Of course nowadays this is no longer the case, people are now battling obesity. The problem is that we naturally prefer sweet and high energy content food like cakes, chocolates, French fries and pizzas to healthy food such as fruits and veggies. Our brain is wired to think cakes, for example, taste better than guavas, and biscuits are tastier than lettuce.

Sugar is especially problematic. An interesting article in the Independent explained what sugar does to our bodies. In short sugar has the same effect on our brains that drugs have. Sugar makes us “high’’ and like other drugs you need ever increasing amounts of it to achieve the “high” feeling.

The reason I’m writing this is some new research that has generated a considerable amount of debate. This research suggests that for weight loss, exercise is not effective. Changing one’s diet is a better way of losing weight than running every morning. After all eating a pizza slice gives more calories than you can lose running a mile. So what is easier, running a mile or not eating a slice of pizza?

I’ve always suspected this, and professional bodybuilders and even casual gym-goers know it. We all know some overweight guys who live very active lifestyles without shedding a single kilogram. There’s a saying in fitness circles that abs (sixpacks) are made in the kitchen.

Exercise however, is still important. It makes us fitter, increases life expectancy and lowers the risk of getting some diseases. Personally it also makes me feel good and helps clear my mind.

The studies I’ve mentioned have totally convinced me of the dangers of eating unhealthy food. In fact I think it is better to eat healthy and live a sedentary lifestyle than eat bad food and live an active lifestyle. My goal this year is to cut down on sugar and foods with high carbohydrate levels like fries and pasta. I’ll still exercise of course but I have resolved to stop eating junk food.

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Tawanda Moyo

Author: Tawanda Moyo

Villager, Itinerant, Engineer, Reader

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