Better Living Guide to Better Eating
Did you ever wonder why some people seem to eat as much as they want and not gain weight, while other people are on an eternal diet and cannot lose an ounce? The answer can be a very complicated anatomy lesson, which involves genetics and the science of metabolism, but can be boiled down to a few behaviors you can modify in order to get the results you desire. There are three areas that one should focus on to effect change:
- Type of Food
- Quantity of Food
- Energy Burned
Type of Food:
In this Blog, we will focus on "Type of Food". As mentioned in my previous blogs, the best food one can consume is organic, Non-GMO, no Trans-Fat and no High Fructose Corn Syrup! Choosing high quality food is important in order to avoid ingesting chemicals, hormones, chemically processed fat and excessive sugar that your body was not designed to process. In addition, keeping foods to the whole food groups: Grains, Protein, Dairy, Fruits, and Vegetables, ensures that you are getting the proper amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats that your body requires to function.
Yes, your body needs Carbs! Carbs are broken down by your body into Glucose. Glucose is essential for brain and nerve function and is used by your cells for energy. Your body has a back-up system to function without carbs, but is then forced to break down protein tissues and alter energy metabolism to make glucose from fats. Does this mean your body needs sugar found in Coca-cola, Frosted Flakes and Twinkies? For sure, your body can use some of those sugars, but these products exceed your daily requirements, and will store the balance as fat if too much is consumed. Plus, these products don't contain enough vitamins and minerals for your body to operate effectively. Here are just a few examples of why your body needs vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A - Essential for cell renewal and repair, defends against UV damage
- Vitamin B6 - Essential for regulating sleep, mood and appetite
- Vitamin B12 - Essential for metabolism, energy and brain and nervous function
- Vitamin C - Essential for Collagen and Elastin Production, and Powerful antioxidant
- Vitamin D - Essential for immunity, bone-building and energy
- Vitamin E - Defends agains free-radical damage and supports healthy levels of anti aging
- Vitamin K - Important for healthy blood clotting and works with calcium to maintain healthy bones, teeth & nails
- Calcium - Regulates new skin cell production and calms nervous function
- Iodine - Supports healthy thyroid function and regulates metabolism
- Iron - Essential for production of red blood cells and transport of oxygen in the blood
- Magnesium - Relaxes muscles and clams nervous function
- Manganese - Helps maintain healthy hair and aids in wound healing
- Potassium - Helps maintain pH balance in the body
- Selenium - Maintains skin elasticity
- Sodium - Supports nervous function
- Zinc - Important for collagen formation, tissue healing and fights inflammation and redness
Your body also needs Fat! Fat helps your body to digest the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E & K. Both saturated and unsaturated fats are important components of your diet, but the ratio should be less saturated (butter, meat) and more unsaturated (avocado, olive oil, fish). Omega-3 fats in particular are important as they protect you against heart disease and possibly cancer. It is important to note, however, that you only need a small daily amount to satisfy this requirement. Eating too much, just like with carbs, will turn them into stored fat in your body.
And finally, your body needs Protein. Lack of protein in the body can impair it's ability to grow and function optimally. Proteins play a variety of roles in your body, including forming tissue, shaping and strengthening skin, muscles, organs and bones, forming the base of enzymes and hormones, which regulate all processes and chemical reactions, transporting oxygen, and other substances, and protecting against disease...just to name a few. Proteins are made up of amino acids and there are actually 20 different types. Of these, 9 are considered essential, as they cannot be made by your body, and therefore, must be consumed. These are Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine. A complete protein (or whole protein) is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs and meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish meet this category. There are plant based sources that include many of the essential amino acids as well. Some of the best sources of these are: quinoa, buckwheat, soy, rice and beans, Ezekiel bread, hummus and pita.
The human body is amazing, but we have to give it the proper fuel to operate efficiently. Now back to our question at the beginning about "why some people seem to eat as much as they want and stay thin while others cannot lose an ounce"...the first part of the answer is because thin people generally eat the quality foods mentioned above!
Next time, I will address the other factors at play, including quantity of food....and believe it or not, those who cannot lose weight, may actually be eating too little!!!!!