The Fat Movers

The “I’ll burn it off,” “I’m fueling my workout,” “I’m on my feet all day,” responses to eating poorly stem from the misconception that weight is a balancing act between calories in and calories out. But instead of referencing the scientific support from my book, or the library of available evidence suggesting otherwise, lets look at two real life examples to show why this is flawed:

  1. The Mail Carrier
  2. The Mover (or other Manual Laborer)

If more exercise means weight loss, why are mail carriers fat?

fat mail carrier

Some would argue that it’s because they walk the same route all the time so their body adapts to the stressful stimulus and therefore make no future gains in performance.  A great answer, but this doesn’t change the fact that he or she is still burning calories all day, every day. Their body doesn’t all of a sudden stop utilizing energy to walk the route even though it’s the same.

Then is it because the Mail Carriers exercise isn’t strenuous enough?

Well, let’s say it is.  And lets combine that with the theory that they’ve plateaued:

The Mail Carriers fatness is because their routine is the same everyday and only requires walking at a low intensity.

Then what about the Mover or Manual Laborer?

The Mover does what most closely resembles high volume strength training (lifting, climbing, bending, squatting) and his routine is different everyday.

So why is he fat?

Interestingly, I worked as a mover during my summers in University and the guys I worked with ate very little food (if any) in addition to lifting and moving all day. Yet one of the guys was obese and the other one had a noticeable belly and poor overall body composition.

Why? Because it doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you have a poor diet.

It also doesn’t matter how little you eat if you choose the wrong foods. As evidenced by this paper from 1995 in the British Medical Journal, which illustrated that:

Between 1980 and 1991 total calorie intake in Britain dropped by 20%, while the number of overweight people doubled!

The mover’s I worked with ate next to nothing all day, and likely only consumed 1500-2000 calories when they got home from work. Add the strenuous daily exercise regimen and conventional wisdom tells us they should be cut like a diamond…but they’re not; they’re fat!

And the reason they’re fat, is because:

You can’t out-exercise a crappy diet!


The good news is, you don’t have to restrict calories or over-exercise to lose body fat. And in fact, you can eat as much as you want and exercise very little – provided it’s the right food and the right form of exercise.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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