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Are Our Bodies Hard-Wired to Overeat and Avoid Exercise?

Exercise is something we are hard-wired as humans to dislike. It requires focus, discipline, and energy. That feeling you get right before a workout – that’s your 2 million-year-old brain telling you: “Don’t do it! Conserve your energy! You may have to run from a cougar and walk 25 miles today while searching for clean water!” The problem we run into in our current society is that our brains still think we need to conserve energy and feast when we have the chance when we really have energy sources (food) readily available to us. At the same time, our brains are still programmed to conserve our energy throughout the day when the reality is the majority of us have sedentary jobs and are barely moving during the course of a day. All this adds up to be a recipe for an overeating and under-training disaster!


Ever planned before bed to go for a jog the next morning? Were you ever as excited about it in the morning as you were before bed? Yeah, me neither. Our brain is telling us we have a long day ahead of us and need to conserve all of the energy we can! It’s screaming: “I am tired! Don’t do this to me!” But how do you feel after that jog? How much better is your day? It’s always better than it would be without the jog. Mentally, we conquered a task first thing in the morning. Physiologically, we released mood altering endorphins and jump-started our internal systems for the day. Bottom line: It is OK to dread that morning jog. Its human! Do your best to look ahead and think about how you will feel after the jog and how much better your day will be.


Those sugar cravings you get in the afternoon are normal! Don’t judge yourself for craving something. You are only human. But why not understand WHY you are craving sugar? Take a deeper look. What did you eat in the morning? Did your blood sugar spike and then crash, and now physiologically your body is screaming for a “hit”? You see when you understand WHY your body is acting the way it is you can discover the problem and work to find a solution. In this case, you could try having a different breakfast: one with little to no sugar, high in PFF (protein fats and fiber). See how your body reacts that day.


So, what do we do about it? We practice discipline. We understand that our urges are just that: urges. It is best to keep a health journal and write down your exercises, what you are eating, and how you felt that day. This will positively reinforce the good practices and negatively reinforce the bad practices. It does not have to be a perfectly kept daily journal, just some notes to jot down before bed. Do your best to understand your body and why it is telling you something. Are you going to let those primal urges prevent you from living a healthy and happy lifestyle?


There is always a reason your body is acting the way it is. Rather than judging yourself, take a look into WHY you feel the way you do. This is the first step to finding a solution to a problem. Once you understand the root of the problem, you can begin to search for the solution. With today’s society offering healthier, more convenient options there are less and less excuses. Everything you want to change about your life is right in front of you and at your fingertips! Take action today. Remember: Urges do not matter, only ACTIONS do.

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