The foods you eat are not all created equal.
In fact, some things I’ve seen people eat or drink as food do not qualify for the definition of “food.” “Food” is in fact the substance that is eaten or consumed to maintain life and growth. Clearly, some are growing larger than others!
So whether you consider what you’re consuming (nourishment, sustenance, nutriment, fare, cuisine, foodstuffs, edibles, provender, refreshments, meals, provisions, rations, solids, eatables, nosh, grub, or chow), it just doesn’t all get burned off the same way.
What is Food?
Food can be broken down into macronutrients. All foods are either considered a carbohydrate, a protein or a fat. We have to have all three in our diets for our bodies to function properly. You cannot eliminate one of these macronutrients and live a healthy, disease-free life. The Atkins diet from the early 1990’s gained much popularity by eliminating the “carbs,” especially the quick sugar carbs. For a while, this method of fueling the body with fats and proteins only will produce results of rapid weight loss.
However, the side effects of such a restricted diet will in fact produce a state of imbalance or ketosis in the body resulting in bad breath, clogged arteries and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Great news to sacrifice your lifespan for a smaller waistline! But indeed, the Atkins basic principle can help start your weight loss efforts.
By simply decreasing the amount of carbohydrates from a balanced 30 grams to 20 grams, protein from 40 to 50 grams, and fat to 30 grams, one would have a great start at winning with the battle of the bulge. Your body needs carbohydrates to fuel the brain and the muscles. Just skip a meal or two and you’ll feel the effects of dizziness and slight memory loss when carbohydrate consumption drops.
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel, but a carb-only diet doesn’t work either. Too much of a good thing is like a child on cotton candy. They will tend to spin out of control and hit the ground hard. One gram of carbohydrates equals four calories.
Protein is the partner that carbohydrates need to maintain a happy brain and happy body. Protein helps slow the absorption of carbs by stimulating the body to produce more glucagon. It helps the muscles absorb the sugars in the blood stream and gives the pancreas a break by deceasing the insulin response. Hence, diabetics quickly learn that the best days have balanced protein intake for balanced brain functions! One gram of protein equals four calories.
Fats are also a needed component of food in your diet. Without fat, you're body cannot absorb many essential vitamins and minerals that help the body function properly. But some fats are better than others. You may have read about the benefits of fats from nuts, seeds and fruits like Olive Oil and Avocado. These healthy, unsaturated fats are what your body can digest more easily than those from red meat, butter, and plam oils. One gram of fat equals nine calories.
Although some will argue a calorie is a calorie and it doesn't matter what that calorie is made up of just as long as you create a deficit if you're trying to lose weight of calories in to calories out, in the long run, if you're not getting the right kinds of calories from the macronutrients, you'll soon find yourself in a box with a shorter lifespan.
Check out my book, Naked Fitness, Vanguard Press, for more tips on what food combinations can be easily put together for easy weight loss.