Let’s face it guys. We are all going to get fat. We keep fighting it, as a group, which I suppose is commendable in its own way, but it’s time to face the music. Exercising sucks. People try to go to the gym regularly, if at all, and while I am sure there is a large collection of (crazy) people who actually enjoy working out, pumping iron, breaking a sweat, etc, none can truly deny that they would prefer an evening of dripping and gasping on a treadmill or a trendy elliptical machine over a night with your good friends Ben and Jerry and possibly some bad reality TV. I mean, you can try…but I won’t believe you. And then I might make fun of you behind your back for trying to seem cool. In fact, I will do that. For sure.
Anyway, it looks like it is going to get harder and harder to keep that spare tire from inflating further. A recent study found on ABCnews.com explains the results of a small, but telling experiment involving a buffet, a group of people and some mild cognitive aerobics. Curious researchers wanted to know why, when you sit down to write a paper or work on your computer, or in the case of Angelo Tremblay of The Universite Laval in Quebec, work on grant applications, your stomach immediately begins to rumble for chocolately chocolate chip cookies or a giant bag of chips, depending on how your palate swings.
In a study that was recently published in an issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers discovered a psychological reason for this unique increase in appetite. A group of people were asked to perform a variety of activities, from relaxing a comfortable chair (pretty tough) to completing a variety of mental tasks in reading and computers and in each participant, they ate significantly more calories when they were performing mental tasks, and clearly burning very little.
Apparently, mental work jostles the levels of insulin and glucose, destabilizing the two critical components in the body’s regulatory and energy machinery and that stimulates the appetite, according to Jean-Philippe Chaput, lead author of the study, “The brain uses only glucose for energy,” unlike the “muscles, which use fat and glucose,” Chaput said in a telephone interview with ABCNews. So when the level of glucose, or sugar, becomes unstable, the brain demands more.
So what he is saying is that exercising our brains makes us hungrier than exercising our bodies. And when we are slumped over our computer desks, entering data or writing or doing whatever it is that we do sitting at a computer, we are getting hungrier and hungrier but moving less and less.
Well isn’t that a kick in our soon-to-be size 42 pants.
Chaput believes that this discovery might shed some light on to our current obesity epidemic, “There are a lot of people doing this kind of work now, compared to physical work in the past, so we postulate that it can explain in part why so many people in so many countries are getting fat.”
I say we lower the bar; create a new standard of fatness, and accept fatness as our next natural evolutionary state. Come on…who’s with me? How much fun will it be to get incredibly fat and stop caring? Lots of fun, that’s how much fun.