You can tell it's post-lottery, pre-marathon time in New York City when two noticeable things happen: you see a lot more people on the treadmills at the gym, wearing brand new running clothes, and the Times begins running more articles about health and exercise.
Like any good academic/New Yorker, I read the Times regularly. Okay, I read the "most emailed" articles on the website regularly. I was even quoted once! (Although, admittedly, that never even maybe made the most emailed, so I wouldn't have read it if it weren't for my name.)
Anyway, this article has been on the most emailed list all week, and it's been bouncing around my friend's facebook pages, as well. In short: exercise does burn calories, but because it's often coupled with an increase in appetite and therefore food consumption, it is ineffective as a weight-loss tool on its own. It is effective as a weight maintenance tool, however.
One thing that the article touches on only tangentially is something I've noticed with myself: when I'm running regularly, I don't crave fatty, bad-for-me foods. This isn't as simple as not wanting to negate my workout by eating crap; it's more of a subconscious desire to fuel my body with good foods.
What do you think?
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"