Even as a teenager, I knew something was just not right with the equation.
As I grew ever heavier over the years, and would work to get it off, then watch it come back, over and over for over 30 years, I knew something in the equation was off.
They told me, everyone knows it, that it is nothing more than calories in vs calories out when it comes to weight gain and loss.
If that was so true, why, oh why, did I sometimes subsist on so little, and lose almost nothing, even with exercise, and others I knew never bothered to be very active, ate all they wanted, and they never gained an ounce?
Also, they told us over and over that the time of day you ate had nothing to do with it.
Now, comes a new study out of Northwestern University in Illinois.
Researchers put groups of mice that had the exact same genetic background, in other words, bred specially for this kind of test, so you are comparing apples to apples, on the same number of calories a day, and the same exercise regimen. The only difference between the two groups is that one was fed most of their calories during the day. The others were fed the majority of their calories during the hours when they would usually be in a sleep cycle.
Result? The group of mice, fed the same number of calories and getting the same exercise, fed at night, gained twice the weight of the other group.
Translation according to scientists? I can hear it now -- it's just mice, it doesn't matter, it won't translate to humans, calories in vs calories out is the only equation, you just eat too much.
But. The calories in vs calories out equation does not take into account that some people's metabolism is slower than others. It doesn't take into account the fact that your calorie needs vary from day to day, even from hour to hour, depending on how much sleep you got, what your hormone levels are, your current activity level, and a whole bunch of other etceteras.
Everything matters. What you eat. When you eat. Hormone levels. How you eat it (mindfully or mindlessly). How fast. How much. How much your body needs at that hour on that day.
It has always been more than just simple math, because the human body is more than just the sum of an easy equation. No two people react exactly the same to the exact same medications, procedures, or stimuli. Our bodies are more tremendously complex than we could ever imagine.
The study was reported in the journal Obesity, and a report about it can be seen here:
They are starting to see what those of us who gain weight so easily, and take so long to lose it, have known for years.
We are not just the sum of their equation.
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