When it comes to health and wellness, most of us are suffering from a bad case of tunnel vision. I like to call it “being stuck in The Box”.
The Box is fairly limited in contents, usually consisting of two things: diet and exercise. They’re all we seem to talk, argue, and debate about.
What’s the best diet?
Which burns more fat: long distance cardio or interval training?
Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.
It never ends. And worst of all, a lot of the answers we get seldom seem to work. Is there something we’re missing?
Last month, Gary Taubes, author of Why We Get Fat, was on UW Radio. He and I discussed the first law of thermodynamics, otherwise known as the law of conservation. This is the law that the calorie-counters cling to. It states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only change from one form to another. In other words, if you eat more calories than you burn, you store (conserve) those excess calories (energy) as fat. Do the opposite and you burn fat.
I can hear the calorie-counters letting out an “amen” right now. The first law of thermodynamics is indisputable! And I agree. The law is in fact true. However, as Gary pointed out, at no point does it address WHY we overconsume those calories.
Now let’s take a step outside of our pretty little Boxes.