SELF Magazine

No time to lose

by Ginny Graves

SELF Magazine | January 22, 2007


Even the urge to overexercise can be the result of a chronic lack of food. Studies show that if rats are starved and then maintained at 70 percent of their normal weight, they’ll run up to 20 kilometers a day, says Shan Guisinger, Ph.D., an eating disorders specialist in Missoula, Montana. She believes the manic exercise often seen in patients is an adaptation to famine. “In prehistoric times, when there wasn’t enough food, women had to travel hundreds of miles to find more, so they needed to be able to walk for hours with little to eat,” she says. “When women starve themselves, that hardwired restlessness may kick in.”

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