Holiday season is just around the corner which means for many, indulging in decadent desserts, alcohol, and high fat, processed food. It’s the one time of the year when people give themselves permission to treat themselves with tasty foods in which they know is not only bad for them but high in calories with no nutrients. The phrase ‘I will work off the excess weight in the new year’ or ‘my new year’s resolution is to lose weight’ is at the top of many people’s list.
The mentality out there is that eat now, worry later. It’s this mentality that is making our population not just overweight but obese, sick, and fighting disease at an alarming rate. For many, they start off the new year with great intentions but never stick with their goals. For whatever the reason, they give up and they go back to their viscous cycle of yo-yo dieting or depriving themselves with the foods that they love.
If you are one of those people who counts calories, worries about how much protein you are consuming or try every single diet because you always believe the next one will work, I’ve got news for you, diets don’t work! Some people may experience short-term weight loss but in the long-term you are actually doing more harm than good for your bodies. Here’s why.
Cutting out essential vitamins and minerals
Most people consume processed foods today. The more of these foods you consume, the less vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you will receive. To make up for the loss of nutrients in processed foods, synthetic nutrients are added to compensate for what is lost during the refinement process. These synthetic nutrients are not good replacements for what you can find naturally in whole foods.
Fiber is essential in our daily diet and a large percentage of the population is deficient in fiber. Why? When foods go through the refinement process, most often the fiber is removed or lost. Whole foods naturally contain fiber which help us treat constipation and help feed our intestine with friendly bacteria otherwise known as probiotics.
Bottom line is that there is no magic pill or ingredient that can substitute for the minerals and vitamins that occur naturally in whole foods. Without these essential vitamins, we cannot optimize our full potential if something is missing from our bodies.
Real food is more than the sum of it’s nutrients. Reductionism as defined in the dictionary as “a philosophical position that holds that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents. This can be said of objects, phenomena, explanation, theories”, and in this case food. Reductionism strongly reflects a certain perspective. For example, we are under the assumption that nutrients alone can benefit our health like consuming milk for calcium or consuming Vitamin C. Our food marketing exploits this way of thinking to a degree that people are driven to consume pills and food that is not completely whole, but rather processed. If this way of thinking was accurate, then we can just break down the human body into chemicals and add water to think we can do better than nature.
The opposite of reductionism is Holism. We human beings have very complex systems and with these systems we are designed to consume complex systems of nutrition that include foods in their whole form. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes. All of these foods contain enzymes, minerals, and nutrients that benefit us and they work together to bring us optimal health.
We shouldn’t be going against nature when it comes to our nutritional health. All whole foods are superfoods and our plates should reflect the colour of the rainbow. Thinking of colour on our plate is the way to include everything in our bodies; nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants.
Calories in doesn’t equal calories out
If you’re one of those people who work out to offset the junk food you will be consuming later on that day or an alcoholic drink, I’ve got bad new for you. I see this problem too often where many people spend countless hours in the gym to exercise to cancel out the calories they had the previous day to celebrate a job well done or as a self-reward. While exercise is important for our overall health, how much and what you eat will have a larger impact on your weight and waistline.
So let’s look at it this way. There are three main components to energy expenditure. One is our is basal metabolic rate, the second is the energy to break down our food, and the third is energy that is used during physical exercise. We have no control over our basal metabolic rate and this is the largest energy user. The amount of energy required to digest food and used during physical exercise is much less. It is estimated that our basal metabolic rate is responsible for about 60-80% of our total energy expenditure and about 10% for digesting food. So this leaves about a 10-30% expenditure for physical exercise which is not a lot. If you work out hard and for long and then replace it with high fat, high caloric food, you are basically cancelling out all the hard work you just did. The type of food you consume is so important in weight loss, not the amount of exercise.
Ditch the diets, the weight loss challenges, the cleanses. Just eat whole food all the time and you will never have to worry about your next diet ever again. When you hear the term ‘diet’, it is assumed that there is an end date. So, what happens when you stop eating these foods? You simply put the weight back on again and go through the cycle again. Don’t you want to break the cycle? If you truly want to gain more energy, lose weight and keep it off, and live longer, you have to make the choice to eat healthy ALL the time, be active EVERY day, and decide to ADAPT a positive mindset. This is the secret to how people stay fit and healthy for their entire lives.
Eat and workout because you love your body, not because you hate it.
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,