You are what you eat. Unfortunately, I don’t think many people realize how accurate this statement is. When you eat, a series of amazing reactions occur to take food from your mouth and transport it to the cells in your body. Carbs, fats, and proteins are nutrients used for a variety of important processes and we need an appropriate amount of each. Carbs for instance, give your brain and muscles the energy they need to function. Fats are important for regulating hormones and providing sustainable energy sources, as well as an important fuel source for the heart. Proteins are the building blocks of all your tissues, like muscle tissue, skin, hair, and nails. Essentially, what you eat turns you… into you!
When you skip out on some of these nutrients, like cutting out carbs or fats from the diet, you are missing key ingredients for proper metabolism, energy production, and health. You have to treat your body like a machine. Using a sports car as an example is a great analogy. The fuel you put in your body should act just like the fuel you put in that car. The foods you eat should make you feel ready to go, not slow you down. Think about this, if you filled your car up from a gas station and it made the car stall, you probably wouldn’t visit that gas station again. The same should be true for the foods you eat. If it makes you feel sluggish or tired (stall), it probably isn’t the right type of fuel!
What happens to all that low-grade fuel you put in your body? You have limited amount of storage in the muscle for fuel, essentially a limited gas tank, and any excess of fuel, either carbs, fats, or proteins, will be stored in your reserves, also known as fat cells. Those fat cells will not release that excess energy until there is a need. Until you are running out of gas. It is important to find the appropriate number of calories you need to identify how big your gas tank really is. From there, you can establish proper guidelines of how much, when, and what to eat. You have to remember, when it comes to nutrition, it’s all about moderation, not deprivation. Next time you stop at the new foodie hot spot in town think about the fuel you are putting into your gas tank. Is it high octane jet fuel ready to boost your day, or is it fuel that is going to have you stalling on the highway?
Check out this TEDx talk by Hether Crawford to learn more about how you can change your life through small nutritional changes!