The human body is an economic system. If only we treated it that way. The ways in which the magazines and the latest trends compel us to go about exercise and physical development just don’t observe this reality.
Because the body functions like an economy, the surest way to achieve any goal is creating the conditions for growth in that direction. This is why I speak in terms of liquid assets: assets which can be sold very quickly and without losing market value in the process. Increasing the liquidity of our body’s relevant nutrients—fats and carbohydrates, to name two—is the very first step towards entering a cycle of investment to drive the body’s economy in the direction we want—even when “growth” corresponds to growing in the direction of a lower body mass.
Even when we’re talking about running for the sole purpose of being skinny, constraining calories just won’t cut it. By forcing the body to implement austerity measures (through dieting), we destroy its ability to grow in any direction. Even though we’ll achieve skinniness in the short-term, doing so will compromise the body’s ability to maintain it. In systems-speak, this is a classic example of Shifting the Burden.