Elephants vs humans vs weight loss

Can humans learn from elephants to help better our lives in regards to weight loss?

So you probably think that I’m crazy comparing our lives to that of elephants, however I wanted to see if there were similarities between how we consume food verse how a wild animal consumes it’s food and how does this affect the overall body composition of both parties and help assist with weight loss?

You might be surprised, but how we consume food is a lot more similar then what you would expect. In our early beginnings, as humans we had to find our fruit and vegetables, hunt our meat and eat a much more balanced diet. Obesity rates were lower, diseases were lower and when looking at overall food consumption it was a lot lower.

Fast forward to today and we have everything at our fingertips. At the click of a button we can now have food ordered and delivered to our front door without even having to move our bodies. Kids are now entertained by sitting down playing with technology over going outside and running around using their imagination, and in a time precious environment adults are choosing convenience over planning and creating meals from scratch.  Is this directly affecting our weight?

Some research has been actioned on elephants (both free roaming in their natural habitat and zoo enclosed elephants). It was found that elephants can in fact become fatter or indeed fat in an environment where food is readily available with limited exercise compared to being in their natural environment. We thank our friends at ScienceNordic for this info.

In their natural environment elephants can also put on weight, however this is likely due to perfect weather conditions creating an abundance of their required food source. These animals know they can afford to eat more in this situation because when nature turns in the opposite direction and times get tough and food becoming scarce, this increased fat percentage will then be used to power the animal through times of hardship. So overall balancing out the excess with the loss.

So is this key information something us humans could look at and potentially use to put into action. Out of this study of elephants what is similar in how we go about fuelling our bodies and getting it moving more often?

Well here’s what conclusions we’ve come to :

1 – Humans eat TOO much TOO often.

No different to elephants in captivity being heavier then their wild counterparts, we are constantly being overfed. Meal sizes are bigger and rarely do people stop and say they’ve had enough. We devour every last piece on the plate and then congratulate ourselves or others by having a big sweet dessert. More food = more calories = higher potential chance of being heavier and over weight.

2 – Elephants eat to survive whilst eating the right foods.

Most of us will pretty much eat anything that is put in front of us, however elephants eat to live. They consume large volumes of plant based foods. You don’t see elephant’s changing their eating habits to go and consume meat just because they are hungry. People use far too many excuses about ‘why’ they are eating certain types of foods. Most of the time it comes down to laziness and the world in which we now live. Do you really need that pre-made sauce? Do you really need the chips, chocolate, ice cream, taco shells, spread etc? At the end of the day this food is pure convenience and it’s not good for your body.

3 – You don’t see Elephants having to read food labels.

The best food you can consume is that of the raw and real kind. What we mean are these items don’t carry extensive food ingredient listings. Elephants genetics tell them how much to eat and what to eat. We just simply walk into a supermarket with thousands of products at our disposal, full of chemicals, preservatives and god knows what else to keep the food fresh for longer making them very calorie dense. If you just try this once… thinking like an elephant (I know it sounds stupid) but… head into your local supermarket and ONLY purchase food items that DON’T have any food labels. This is the type of food shopping we should be doing more of. Vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and small allocations of meat. Not only will your food shop become way cheaper, but you will learn how to love fresh food with your body rewarding you with feeling better, enjoying clearer skin, being less tired and so much more!

4 – Elephants roam and move.

In the wild elephants are constantly on the move. In captivity however with limited space this even starts to raise concern about their health with increased weight, issues with joints and sore feet. Are humans designed to be sedentary? Simply put… no. Your body is designed to move, jump, run, jog, squat, kneel. No where in our internal manual does it tell us to sit all day and stare at screens, not exercise, not move, be lazy. Exactly! I’m not saying anything here that you don’t already know, however some people need that light bulb moment to go off to kick them into action. For you to live a healthy lifestyle and feel good within yourself then exercise is a part of that, which will also help in regards to goals surrounding weight loss. I’m not meaning that you have to go and do a marathon or go lift weights everyday, but even just a lunchtime walk out of the office, walking your dog everyday for 30mins is all added movement. Walking to the shops to get a coffee rather then driving. There is plenty of key things you can do to do more to improve your life.

So there you have it, more similar to elephants then what you previously thought? Maybe we can even learn a thing or two from how they eat and move to sustain a healthy weight pattern for themselves? It’s not easy to change, but change is key to helping you live a happier and healthy life well into the future.

Until next time…

Create change and keep healthy!

Brenton Wells 🙂

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