Becoming a runner has changed my life in so many different ways. What started as a simple way to lose a few pounds has turned into a lifestyle. It has taught me mental toughness and patience. It has brought me new friends. It has made me a calmer person, as exercise has been incredibly helpful in relaxing my frenzied mind. And it has helped me learn about how our bodies physically "work". But the biggest change that running has brought to me is in how I eat.
In the quest to become stronger and more fit, I have had to learn and accept that I can't eat the way I did when I was in my 20's. When I first started running a decent level of miles, say over 60mpw, I would end almost every night gorging on sweets. God forbid if there weren't several candy bars in the fridge after dinner. That combined with my love of Alcohol conspired to make sure that regardless of how much I ran, I was sure to not lose weight. As a matter of fact, I gained it!
As I've learned and changed my diet I have written about it here on my blog. In September of 2010 I started the Ultrametabolism diet by Dr. Mark Hyman. This was the biggest dietary change I've ever made. I cut out all added sugar, all wheat/flour and stopped drinking. I ate a ton of (good) fat and ended up losing weight and getting leaner than I ever have. I wrote about it here.
Then in May of 2012, after a period of slacking on the diet, I decided to follow it again but I added one twist. I decided to turn only to plant based, whole food (ie: Vegan). I wrote about that here.
In doing all this experimentation with my diet I have done a ton of reading and learning. My biggest take away is that Sugar is, by most definitions, an addictive substance. If I slack on my diet and start eating sugar and wheat I not only gain weight, but I gain fat. The inner tube around my waist inflates in exact proportion to the amount of sugar, wheat and alcohol I consume. Every time. And equally predictable is that I lose weight and get leaner when I stop. Every time.
But why? I was a long time believer that weight was a simple function of calories in vs. calories burned. But I have learned that it is not that simple. My entire purpose for this post is to share the video below. It is by Dr. Robert Lustig, who's first video "Sugar, the Bitter Truth" has been viewed millions of times. This is part 2, with upgraded information, and it explains why Sugar is such a big part of the obesity crisis that we are now in the middle of. It is a long video, but if you have a vested interest in understanding what is happening to our food supply and how it is affecting our bodies, it will fly by. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do. After the video, please share your thoughts!