Why Are We Fatter Than the Animals at the Zoo?

Obese and fat domestic animals

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Yuri Elkaim, a nutrition, fitness, and fat loss expert.

Have you noticed that animals (in the wild) are not fat? Obesity is not something that occurs in nature.

So why is that we humans are battling the bulge?

Well, what if I told you that the simple act of cooking our foods is making us fat and unhealthy! That’s right…cooking. Have you ever seen an animal cooking their food? Of course not…because it doesn’t happen.

For whatever reason, we are the only species on planet earth that feels it necessary to cook our food.

The reason that cooking food makes us fat and unhealthy is that heating a food above 118 F destroys its precious enzymes.

How Will Food Enzymes Help Me Lose Weight?

It’s very simple. Enzymes are required for every single reaction in the body. For instance, the breakdown of fat requires enzymes such as lipase. If lipase (and other fat burning enzymes) is not present then you cannot readily use your fat reserves for energy. As a result, more fat is stored and you pack on the pounds.

Eating foods (especially fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds) in their living or raw state ensures that all of their respective enzymes are in tact. The result – less energy needed to breakdown your meals, more enzymes to breakdown fat and rev up your metabolism, and greater energy and vitality.


Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more overweight and obese domesticated pets. What do you think the reason might be? If you said because we’re feeding them cooked, processed, and mechanized food, then you’re right!

I mean where on earth do you see an overweight dog or cat in the wild? You don’t – until humans domesticate it!

Here are two ways to get more enzymes into your diet for better fat loss results:

1. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables

2. If eating cooked foods, then use digestive enzymes before your meal to alleviate the stress on your digestive system and provide some much needed fat-burning catalysts.

At the end of the day, dieting will not help you lose weight unless you can provide your body with life-giving and fat-burning food enzymes. The key is to eat more of what nature intended for you to eat – natural whole foods! When you do so you’ll see the fat melt off your body!

Yuri Elkaim is a nutrition, fitness, and fat loss expert. He is also the author of the book, Eating for Energy, which has helped thousands of people in over 80 countries regain control of their health and weight.

Photo courtesy of Steffe.

About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (32)

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  1. MetroknowNo Gravatar says:

    Great article on the benefits of eating raw foods. I still cook much of my food, but I always try to eat fruits and vegetables uncooked.

    Excellent headline, BTW – got me here in a hurry!

  2. DRNo Gravatar says:

    Great advice.

    My only caution would be with the phytic acid found in some seeds and nuts.

    Here is some info on phytic acid –

    On a personal level, digestive enzymes made a noticeable difference with my food intolerances.

  3. Tyler IngramNo Gravatar says:

    After all we are the only species that cooks their food! The headline did make me wonder.. yea.. why is that? lol

  4. SiberiaNo Gravatar says:

    I’m new here – what are digestive enzymes and where/how do you buy them?

  5. AllynNo Gravatar says:

    this cracks me up.
    The reason we have to cook our food is that God didn’t see fit to give us the same kinda teeth as He did a lion. You ever try to eat raw meat?

  6. Loved the article Yuri and Israel! Intriguing title, informative information and food for thought. Might also want to state that exercise is also a key component! The more sedentary our lives have become .. and the lives of our pets .. the more our girth grows! Move and lose!!!

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      HAHA! I’ve heard that before. Physical activity is important. Even when fasting, it has been proven that you don’t lose muscle during a 72 hour fast, or calorie restricted diet as long as you continue to lift weights.

  7. NicolaNo Gravatar says:

    The benefits of raw food can’t be disputed but I think you’re overplaying the role enzymes play. The fact that we stuff our faces with too much junk is much more relevant.

    I’m sure if you follow a raw-food diet you’ll lose weight, but that’s more likely to be because you’re not eating donuts and processed crap then.

    Interesting blog, btw. Very informative entries, but god, the ads, there’s so many of them it’s hard to find the content amongst them.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      I wonder who invented Twinkies? Donuts? Pizza! Ugh. As far as the content, thanks. The content is prominently displayed in this white area on the left. Which is in contrast with the other colored areas of the site, so as to make the white area noticeable as the content area.

  8. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    I should say I am not thin person, but athletic :-). And if I eat too much I can become very-very big and sometimes fat. So my solution is not to eat after 8 pm. If I like to eat very much I can allow just nonfat curd. It works very well. If u keep that rule for about couple of months the size of your belly will be decreased significantly.

  9. ZaneNo Gravatar says:

    Great article! having vegetables and fruits good for human health and these can also help to prevent lots of diseases.

  10. JennaNo Gravatar says:

    What a great article! Well written & interesting!

  11. JoshNo Gravatar says:

    True, but what about the fact that animals in the wild (the carnivores, particularly) have to go out and hunt for their food? When we get hungry, we walk to the kitchen or to the car to drive to McDonalds. Same for the zoo animals–all of their food is given to them. Animals in the wild first have to catch what they want to eat.

    All in all, good article. I’m surprised there are so many benefits to eating raw/uncooked foods.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Also, don’t animals systems have some mechanism that allows them to eat uncooked meats and process them differently then us humans?

  12. TomNo Gravatar says:

    I definitely believe that eating many foods uncooked is a good idea. Especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. However, I’m not sure if eating cooked foods is the main cause of our weight problem as a society. Especially when it comes to meats, cooking is a method of killing harmful bacteria. Many foods need to be cooked to ensure that we don’t become sick. I feel that animals don’t eat for enjoyment like we do. Many times we eat because it tastes good and not necessarily because we need to. Wild animals generally eat only when they need to. That is not to say that there is not validity to lack of enzymes correlating to weight gain because that may very well be true. It’s more that I tend to be a little cautious when it comes to eating some foods raw, so I would probably look for alternative ways to lose weight.

  13. he he…nice article and an hilarious topic..well i am quite ok…not that fat not that thin..average but there are some people fatter then 😉

  14. MRamigeNo Gravatar says:

    Why does Pepperoni and Sausage pizza have to taste so much better than celery?

    That’s why we’re all fat.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Have you heard of those flavoring things that came out? You can make anything taste like anything you want.

  15. MrBoatingNo Gravatar says:

    I believe that raw food could be a factor of loosing weight. But I can’t imagine that it’s the only one.
    You may eat tons of enzymes but if you can’t move your… err… back from the sofa it won’t bring you any help.
    Find the hobby that will make you move a lot while being on a fresh air and then raw food will really help you.

  16. NeferuNo Gravatar says:

    Actually the enzymes you eat will die in your stomach due to the Ph levels, the only enzymes that survive in your stomach are the ones that your body specifically makes for your stomach and breaking down food. Every enzyme and amino acid has a specific job based on it’s shape and once that shape is changed it looses it’s function. Items that change that shape is temperature, and Ph levels. Enzymes found in muscle tissue would not survive in the Ph levels in your stomach, because they were not made for that purpose. So the enzymes from plants and animal tissue would die in your stomach anyway just because it would change the shape (denatured)and the enzyme which is a protein would loose it’s function. So whether you cook your food or eat it raw the enzymes will die no matter what.

    There are many problems with the food, for one they are mostly processed, unless you are eating fresh meat, and fruits and veggies. Anything that comes from a box or can has a bunch of crap added to it. The quantity of food served in this country is still out of control, you go to a restaurant outside of the US and the portions are a lot smaller (at least where I have been)

    As for fat pets, more and more people are feeding their pets low quality food, more table scraps, more treats, and they are getting a lot less physical activity. We have 2 corgis and they are the only ones that I have ever seen in shape, it’s because they get walked every day, they get maybe 1 real treat per day, most of the time it is ice cubes which they think are treats, they NEVER get tables scraps, occasionally I do give them some fresh fruit such as apple or melon.

    But those that have weight problems, such as myself it’s not that I cook my food, it’s what I eat period. I know I need to get my portions under control, and I need to quit craving crap (fast food, and chocolate) Also the way food is cooked, I use pam for everything I do not use oil and if I do use oil I just a little bit of olive oil we don’t deep dry anything, we don’t use salt in our house, I do season with items like Mrs Dash.

    anyway this is my first time putting a comment…I know it’s long I have a tendency to ramble

  17. It is always so important to make sure that you diet as well as exercise. Well done and what a great article!!

  18. ErinNo Gravatar says:

    First of all I just wanted to say that I really believe in what you are doing and I admire you for getting fit and healthy. I also wanted to say that I really enjoyed this article and I’m so glad that you included so many great tips. This article you wrote reminded me of an article I read on called get lean and green for fast fat loss. It also speaks about eating more fruits and veggies to get to a healthy weight and lose fat fast. It is worth checking out and while you are there you should also check out the other articles too. They are written by Marc Perry, who is a fitness expert. Keep up the good work and good luck!

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