Anyone who’s spent hours slaving away on the treadmill will know that more exercise doesn’t always equal more weight lost. Scientists have found that our bodies seem to adapt to higher activity levels and actually stop burning extra calories.
Pontzer and his team monitored the daily energy expenditure and activity levels of more than 332 adults living in five countries over the course of a week.
Their results showed that physical activity did have a weak influence on the amount of calories burnt… but only up to a certain point.
People with moderate activity levels did indeed burn around 200 calories more than the most sedentary people. But anyone who exercised beyond moderate activity levels didn’t see any extra benefits in terms of calories burnt.
“The most physically active people expended the same amount of calories each day as people who were only moderately active,” says Pontzer.
The good news in all this is that Pontzer believes there may be a “sweet spot” for physical activity – an amount of activity just right for weight loss.
In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to take a closer look at your diet if you want to lose weight this year.