“Middle age is when you’ve met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else.”

Ogden Nash

One of the few beefs I have against an otherwise fantastic book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, is Gary Taubes’s apparent dismissal of exercise as an adjunct to a sensible weight loss/weight management program.  But I do get his point, though, and to be fair, his work is intended to be a purely scientific look at the causes of fat accumulation.  The book was never intended to be a “how to” manual.  We all know that even a not-so-vigorous workout increases your appetite, and that one must fuel themselves properly (i.e., in a Paleo way), or chance amplifying an already dismal eating pattern.

Now this study, from professor Delores Albarracin of UIUC, shows that even thinking of working out will cause you to eat more.  The immunity to all of this is, of course, a Paleo diet.

When someone overcompensates for a drawn-out, low intensity workout — a workout that results in very little muscle/liver glycogen depletion — with excess carbohydrate calories, any dreams of resultant weight loss will be stymied.  Why can an athlete like Lance Armstrong get away with shovelling-down platefulls pasta (not that it’s healthy), and still maintain a svelte body?  Because he continually depletes his glycogen stores via intense workouts.  Moderate exercise does not deplete glycogen stores in this fashion, therefore, any carbohydrate (especially refined) overcompensation — which is quite easy to do — will result in weight gain, or at least a much diminished weight loss.

In Health,



  1. I know I’m singing to the choir here, but….
    Just want to say it again 😉
    I can’t believe how my “hunger” doesn’t resemble anything I used to experience.
    How is it possible that at times I don’t have the need to eat all? I’l tell you how, because it’s natural. Fettucini al fredo is not.


  2. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people watching tv while barely moving on a treadmill or exercise bike, all the while swigging a Gatorade. I think they may actually be gaining weight while “exercising.”

    • BC, Marc —
      Checkout this post from the blog, Whole Health Source. Low intensity “exercise” — when that encompasses the whole of a subject’s exercise portfolio — really does more harm than good, when coupled with a pathetic diet.

  3. Keith,

    Off topic, but I posted a video of Doug McGuff being bludgeoned at our studio on my blog. You might be interested in it.


    • Skyler,
      Send me the link. I just received BBS in the mail from Dr. McGuff, and have just begun my initial read-through of the material.

    • Cool, thanks Skyler.

      It is precisely with the kinds of trainees alluded to in Stephan’s post that I believe Dr. McGuff (Body by Science) has a legitimate point. I’ll be posting a complete set of reviews of BBS in the near future in which I’ll discuss this further. But really, BC’s observation is on-the-money. And ironically, this phenomenon only adds further fuel to the body’s being a simple thermodynamic engine misconception. The heart of the problem, of course, is the wrong macronutrient intake to begin with. Now, take a population with this lousy diet, then have them overcompensate with that same dismal diet for a perceived energy deficit and, well, you end up with the set of stats and accompanying charts that Stephan blogged about. It’s a two-part problem, with diet being the 800-pound gorilla in the room.


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