Interesting and thorough discussion from CFHQ about nutrition.
The energy balance hypothesis suggests you can achieve perfect health by counterbalancing nutrition choices with physical activity; “calories in, calories out” is a popular motto among proponents of this model for nutrition and exercise.
The hypothesis has enjoyed popularity among public health organizations and large food corporations. In fact, sometimes the two groups work together on initiatives, such as Exercise Is Medicine, to promote the idea that we need to “eat less and move more.” Such arrangements are mutually beneficial, because they allow public health groups to deflect attention from their flawed nutrition guidelines and allow Big Food to keep selling junk food with a clean conscience. Unfortunately, the energy balance model perpetuates dangerous myths about nutrition and exercise. So what is the truth about how to dial in these two mechanisms for improving health?
Nutrition and Exercise as Opposing Forces
Training and nutrition are the two most powerful mechanisms for improving human health, but they exert their influence from opposite directions. Diet supplies energy and is the source of the body’s structural components. Exercise consumes energy and actually breaks down the body in various ways. Our muscles, tendons, and even bones are damaged during exercise, but they grow back stronger in response to the stress. These adaptations, not the stress, are what we’re chasing when we exercise.