Burn: The Misunderstood Science of Metabolism

Have you ever wondered why we are so hungry for energy and why it’s important to exercise more than ever? Our Personal Trainer Lewis Gunn is currently completing a sports rehabilitation with strength and conditioning course at Plymouth University and has shared a synopsis of a recent book he has read that offers a valuable insight into health and nutrition. We hope you find the information below useful and thought provoking.

Burn: The Misunderstood Science of Metabolism by Herman Pontzer is many years’ worth of thorough scientific research. Polished into a gripping, insightful, easy to read historical journey through human evolution that poses and answers a lot of important questions about human behaviour, energy that fuels your body and implications of technological advances and its relation to weight management.

One of my favourite takes from this book is the ‘Constrained total energy expenditure (TEE) hypothesis’. This means that humans are bound to a limit of sustainability on energy consumption and expenditure. Exercise is still regarded as being super important to health and fitness, but there is still a limit to the number of calories that the body can burn. This can certainly be pushed temporarily as seen with ultra-marathon runners and tour de France cyclists etc.

The evidence shows that the fitter you become through regular exercise and physical activity, the less energy is needed to be used in other areas of your body. For example, managing mental and physical stress levels, inflammation, blood glucose levels, the reproductive system and more as you will be healthier, and your body will become more efficient at managing your body’s energy usage. This means that your basal metabolic rate (resting energy levels) is lower due to the improved fitness with increased physical activity so in total you’ll still have a similar total energy expenditure as before you started exercising regularly.

This does mean however, that if a person wants to lose weight, they won’t be able to do this easily just through exercise alone as there is a limit on how many calories you can burn long term so you will need to have a good nutrition plan as well.

Exercise and good nutrition work perfectly together to give you the best chance to lose weight and keep it off long term along with many more health benefits including improved functional strength and endurance, bone density, general good health and disease prevention as well as feeling more energetic and happier.

Personal Training Service

If you’re looking for help to achieve your personal fitness goals, our one-to-one Personal Training service offers a program tailored for you. Our Personal Trainer Lewis, is available to offer both fitness and nutritional advice as well as Personal Training programs. Please contact our Leisure Desk where one of the team will be happy to book you in for a consultation with Lewis.

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