Is our North American metabolism any different than a hunter-gatherer counterparts?
March 5, 2017
Here’s one that really stuck out for me! I deal with a lot of clients who want to lose weight and there is definitely a lot of miss information out there about the topic. I hope to shed some light with this rather heavy read.
This is a study that looked at metabolism speeds between an average north american population and an average hunter-gatherer population from the Hazda (tribe in Tanzania, read more here.) I think this is going to be about the closest we can get to comparing ourselves to our cave man days. Here is another link talking briefly about the Hazda diet. Pretty much textbook “Paleo diet.”
Welcome back from skimming or reading through the journal. Let me summarize this puppy quick now.
Figure 1 – Shows Hazda vs. US for Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) mapped against Fat Free Mass (FFM). And it shows that doesn’t matter Hazda or US, as FFM goes up, so does TDEE. More muscle, more energy burning. No surprise there!
Figure 2 – Normalized data of TOTAL body mass against TDEE. Still a correlation. More mass usually means more TDEE, but more LBM and it definitely means more TDEE. Both figures just confirming the same idea.
Figure 3 – Body fat % vs. activity level. Some trend lines point in a slightly positive direction, and some point slightly negative. What that really means? There is NO STRONG CORRELATION between activity level and body fat % in both Hazda and US populations.
So lets put this all together now. What this mean is that it doesn’t matter if you are a Hazda tribe member or a north american, excess body fat % is attributed to diet far more than it is to activity level. This doesn’t mean you get to stop all activity and just worry about food. What it does mean though is that you should be focusing on your food MORE than your exercise plan, if your goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy body fat %.
reminds me of a line I give out often. “No amount of exercise will ever out do a terrible diet.” And now with this journal, there exists scientific evidence to support that quote!