I'll Run It Off

Many of WW’s former co-workers, male and female, are runners. She often ate in the cafeteria with them and learned what they liked. It was CARBS CARBS and CARBS. One woman had pasta, bread rolls, and mashed potatoes on her tray for lunch. She was a doctor to top it off.

When the conversation got around to what WW ate and what they ate, many of these runners merely said: “I’ll run it off.” Of course they won’t and can’t. The 1200 calorie, high sugar muffin they have in the morning will take about 2 hours of cross-country running to run off. As for the doctor’s lunch, well there is no way for her to run it off and still do her work.

But, even if they could burn up the calories, this is a seriously misleading and incomplete picture of the problem. The high carb shock is still there and the deadened insulin sensitivity it produces is a lasting problem contributing to weight gain and poor blood sugar control thereafter. Burning off the calories is a good way to feed free radical damage to the mitochondria and other vital tissues, including your brain. You don’t burn this dangerous high sugar fuel without paying the price of oxidative damage. So, even if you do manage to burn off all those calories, you have done damage to your body in multiple ways.

This is a problem with the “calories in, calories out” theory of weight management. True as it is in a long-run thermodynamics sense, it misses the bigger picture of sustainable health. And many studies do show that the weight loss in low carb diets is greater than can be accounted for in the caloric reduction which they promote. This shows that the thermodynamic model is difficult to apply to the human body and that accurate measurement of energy expenditure is yet to be fully accomplished.

With all the promotion of “energy drinks” it is difficult for many to understand that the kind of fuel you are making your body burn when you eat these carb-laden meals or drink these so-called energy drinks is a sort of fuel that burns fast and hot and does real damage. And you do further damage just putting it in your tank because it wrecks your metabolic health.

You would not run nitrous oxide or alcohol in your car to double its power output without expecting to pay the price. Why do people fall for a theory just about that dumb when it comes to how they “fuel” their bodies?

I’ll Run It Off