Tip 1: The Calorie, from the first part of our nutrition tips, we discussed how weight is affected by caloric intake and you got a basic understanding of what BMR is. I’d like to continue on with the second Tip, Food types and Nutrients.
So what are Nutrients you ask?
Nutrients are the substances obtained from food and used in the body to promote growth, maintenance and repair. So why is this important when it comes to proper nutrition? Well, if you don’t have the correct fuel, your engine is going to sputter. What I mean exactly is that if you don’t eat the proper nutrition, your body cannot grow, maintain and repair it self properly. The old cliché` holds true when someone says to you “You are what you eat”. If you eat garbage you will be a garbage bucket and I will officially be able to call you “Oscar”. If you eat properly, you will be a well oiled machine. However, in this world of “instant gratification” that we live in of fast foods, microwave dinners and time constraints, it’s very hard to eat properly. I understand completely. Fortunately for you, it’s not as hard as you think. If something in your life is worth striving for, you will make and find time for it. PERIOD! And health SHOULD NOT be an exception to your rule of life but should be as much of your life as your children, your spirituality, your job or anything that you hold true and dear to yourself. So hopefully I can help you in understanding that you should put a priority on your health and the choices you make as you would paying your mortgage or that pesky car loan. And with Heart Disease being the #1 cause of death in the United States, your choice is to sink or swim.
So what are these substances we get from food?
These substances consist of 2 Types. Energy substances: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins and the remainder types are Vitamins, Minerals and Water. Without these nutrients and without these nutrients properly obtained, your body vehicle will sputter. Let me ask you, do you feel drained and have a lack of energy? Do you get headaches? Do you feel bloated? If you answered yes to any of these questions, odds are you are not getting the proper nutrition your body needs. And even if you think you are, stop reading this right now and go read the labels of what you’re eating. Go online and read the labels of what you eat from your fast food and chain restaurants. The amount of fat, carbohydrates, salts and chemicals you are putting into your body is like throwing sand in your gas tank. So you MUST be 100% completely aware of everything you slap down on your tongue.
Your body needs to have a proper ratio of Fats, Carbs, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and Water to run properly. (It also needs to NOT have all the extra additives and chemicals that were not made for consumption.) This ratio is important. Why you ask? Because they all work in synergy and they all perform important functions in the body. You need fat! Yes, that is right. You heard me. You need Fat in your body. However, you need certain types of fats and the right amount of fats because your body uses fat to perform certain functions and protect vital organs. Everyone knows that your body needs proteins. If you are not aware, proteins are the building blocks of life and they also repair and maintain muscle cells. 70% of your body is made up of water. Hmmmm, so I guess you need that too! With my sarcastic humor aside, if you are not getting the proper amount and types of minerals, the vitamins you take (if you take vitamins) or get from foods will not perform their functions properly or at all. Minerals help your body move and absorb vitamins. If you didn’t know this, then I’m glad I can share this with you because most people don’t realize that.
So you see, it is vitally important you eat a balanced amount of nutrition and you eat the proper nutrition. Too much of any one thing, even if it is good for you, is bad for you. And since we discussed in Tip 1, everybody is slightly different in their genetic and chemical make up, it is going to take some time and experimenting to find what works best for you. I would also like to note that if you eat an unhealthy type diet, when and if you do take your health into your own hands, for a few weeks, you will feel different. Your body is going to go into shock and it won’t be use to the new healthy diet you are on. So you may find yourself not feeling so well at first. But this is good. Because your body is learning how to get use to all the wonderful nutrients it is getting. You are in essence, detoxifying. It will pass. Just hold true and consistent to your course of healthy actions. Trust me, you will feel much better, you will put years on your life and you will save a fortune on medical care.
Now it is time for you to do some homework and make some new habits. My suggestion and assignment for you is to learn about what you are eating by reading labels. Start getting rid of the microwave dinners, the boxed mac and cheese, bleached breads, canned soups and start buying fresh foods and learning how to cook. Stop or cut back on the fast and chain foods. I know, I know, “but it is so goooood” and “I love going out” or “I don’t have time to make dinner”. Well, if you want to make some changes in your life, then you have to make some changes in your life. You will get no sympathy from me. I’m a straight shooter here and if you want success, then you are going to need to make some sacrifices. But here’s the great thing and positive spin to all of this. Think about how much money you will save on restaurant bills, medical care and gas. Think about that extra hour of time you spend with your family cooking healthy meals and sitting at the table eating, sharing and spending time with everyone. Think about how much more energy you will have.
The irony here is that if you eat healthy, you will probably gain a few extra hours a day in energy that you didn’t have before in which you can spend it with your family cooking and eating healthy. So what more of a Win/Win could you ask for?;)
Dr. Linus Pauling is a 2 time Noble Prize winner in Chemistry and considered to be the “Father of Molecular Biology”. He is commonly known for his statements and studies on tracing every sickness, disease and ailment being related to a deficiency in minerals. Largely due to malnutrition, degenerative disease rates are continually rising. Dr Pauling lived to the age of 93.