Doesn’t the “Law of Thermodynamics” Prove Eating Less Burns Body Fat?
“The principle that weight gain [only depends on calorie quantity] would violate the second law of thermodynamics.” —R.D. Feinman, State University of New York
We know the traditional approach to fat loss fails 95% of the time, yet common sense seems to tell us: “If you eat less and exercise more, you must burn body fat. Anything else violates the law of thermodynamics.”
There are four laws of thermodynamics. The two that apply to burning body fat do not prove that reducing the number of calories eaten makes the body burn fat. They tell us energy cannot be created nor destroyed; energy can only change forms. When people eat less, the body must do something. That’s it. The laws of thermodynamics prove nothingabout what the fat metabolism system must do.
Remember how it is easier for your body to slow down than to burn fat? And remember how it makes more sense to burn calorie-hungry muscle than it does to burn protective body fat? Put those two facts together, and instead of proving that eating less equals long-term fat loss, the applicable laws of thermodynamics prove that eating less makes the body slow down and burn muscle, which leads to long-term fat gain—not fat loss.
- Feinman RD, Fine EJ. “A calorie is a calorie” violates the second law of thermodynamics. Nutr J. 2004 Jul 28;3:9. PubMed PMID: 15282028; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC506782.
- Fine EJ, Feinman RD. Thermodynamics of weight loss diets. Nutr Metab (Lond).2004 Dec 8;1(1):15. PubMed PMID: 15588283; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC543577.
- Garrow, J.S.. Energy Balance and Obesity in Man. 2nd ed. New York: Elsevier Science Ltd, 1978. Print.
- Keesey RE, Powley TL. The regulation of body weight. Annu Rev Psychol. 1986;37:109-33. PubMed PMID: 3963779.
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