Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Losing Weight is a Bear

I don't understand what the problem is:

I lose the weight every Winter--but then I have gained it all back by Fall...

I am tempted to just leave it at that but will risk going on from here any way.

It is my hypothesis that a healthy person who eats whatever they want and doesn't exercise, ought to gain weight.  (I will note here that I claim no special knowledge:  My method is to see where commonly known facts lead us.)

Given that for most of human biological history, we have been hunter-gatherers;  the nature of this life style is that there are times of abundance and times of want.  There would thus be a huge survival advantage in being able to store energy on-board your body.  To survive in this kind of environment, you must gain weight when there is plenty so that you do not starve when there is scarcity.  

What about storing food externally?

With the exception of Diamond's pre-historic Japanese, H & G groups had to be on he move all the time and so transporting foods would be a challenge in a couple of ways:
  • It takes time to preserve food by drying and this works against being constantly on the move.
  • Once preserved, food needs to be packaged and carried along.
Once Humans took up farming and herding, the ability to lay-in fat was much less a benefit.  Farmers were, by their nature, fixed to a location and would have the time to preserve food and no need to transport it.  Herdsmen were still on the move, but the herd was the source of food--so they didn't need to transport or store it.   Additionally, it is hard to engage in the challenging physical activities associated with farming and herding without being physically fit.

The very physicality of the work was enough to keep its practitioners fit.  Now we have jobs that do not require physical fitness and are not demanding enough to keep us fit and so Quelle surprise  we are getting fat.

I have, no surprise, some thoughts on how to avoid getting fat and will outline them below...


Actually, my own experience has been that around 40 I started to steadily gain weight.  I began to exercise regularly and cut down, though not eliminate, the starchy parts of meals.  The weight I had gained was quickly lost.  But I did not continue to lose weight. 

I know that I could lose more weight if I ate enough less, the laws of thermodynamics being what they are and all.  It is just that as any dieter can point out; the body adjusts to caloric restriction and becomes miserly about expending energy.  In our modern times this is a bug, in times of need it would be a really nice ability.

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