There is eating, and there is fueling your body.
They are related, but they are not the same.
In this post, you are about to discover the most important development in nutrition that there has ever been–and maybe ever will be, and the implications that you are either about to just discover or get clearer on will have a credible influence on how you eat, why you eat, and when you eat, for here on out.
Sticking to a diet program is not what is important, rather, it’s the knowledge and understanding you apply to your eating style that will enable you to not only eat better, naturally, but to ultimately, optimize the way you eat for weight, energy, health and quality of life results, far beyond what most people can even imagine right now.
To begin understanding it, you’ve got to discern the difference between eating and fueling your body:
- Eating is the act of consuming food, and it is tied to all kinds of things from nourishment, to enjoyment, to social activity and more.
- Fueling your body requires that you eat, but it’s based on giving your body what it needs to function and perform well. When you fuel your body right, not only will you function and perform well, you will also look and feel the way you want to as well. This is what is meant to be the basic premise of eating.
Unfortunately, today, “eating” has gotten so far away from the basic premise of why we eat food that it takes a real wake-up call to realize that we are addicted to eating poorly and for the wrong reasons! And, trying to make up for all of that with simple-minded, single-variable diets that that don’t solve the real problems, are all a colossal waste of time, even if you do “lose some weight,” in the short term.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to learning how to fuel your body right, properly and effectively, and in a way that you enjoy; that works for you. You should not do so in a way that prevents you from experiencing uncomfortable body processes, but legitimately works “for” you and solves the problem that drives most people to eat in ways that work against them.
What’s the problem?
In the context of fueling your body, we have been sold on the idea that we need the macronutrients– carbohydrates, protein and fat, in our diets, and usually in some specific ratio, or to the inclusion or exclusion of one or the other, more or less of one or another, or this type or that, etc. This is at least some truth in all of these points, but what we have overlooked is that these “calorie-” containing nutrients are not the basis of a healthy way of eating.
It’s the micronutrients– the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals (phytonutrients), and fiber that matter more than calories. Micronutrients have no calories, but they do determine how many calories you will end up eating and for what reasons.
For the purpose of this post, which is focused on fueling your body, I’ll refer to these micronutrients, as “nutrients” and macronutrients as “calories,” which is a distinction I learned from my mentor Joel Fuhrman. M.D.
What’s never been quite clear for most people is that fueling your body, the most basic premise of eating, is about giving your body what it needs to function and perform well, first and foremost, and that is not simply the intake of carbohydrate and calories. This is the role that micronutrients play in conjunction with the appropriate amount and kind of calories (real food carbohydrate, health-promoting protein and essential fat) that you need.
That switch in emphasis from calories to nutrients, is what makes the difference in the results you experience–the Switch to micronutrient rich eating that is calorie appropriate, not calorie-rich and poor in nutrients.
I think this is why Eat to Live has been such a big success. It’s author, my teacher, gave rise to this distinction and it is a big one; it is THE one in my opinion that matters most in nutrition. It’s given rise to the work that I do here–helping people to eat healthy as part of a performance lifestyle, which focuses you on your real goals in life, unleashed from the hidden lifestyle challenges that hold you back–eating micronutrient poor is one of the hidden challenges that holds you back from living well.
Weight loss is not a natural goal, and is based on eating in an unhealthy manner, and then manipulating the amount of macronutrient “calorie” content to eat less.This is a vicious cycle that I hope you will not engage in, during 2013. For the same matter, thinking that the gluten content or the glycemic index, or whether or not you eat a small amount of animal products or not, are in some ways, whole answers on their own, will also keep you stuck. Each is important, but is not the whole answer to healthy eating.
Even focusing on fueling your body with nutrients first, and calories second, is not the whole answer, but it is the cornerstone or foundation of a healthy eating style. When you get this right, you will get everything else right, too.
So, to begin fueling your body right in 2013, focus on eating micronutrient-rich foods first, which are naturally lower in calories, and contain normal and natural amounts of calories that you can increase or decrease based on your activity levels. Increase your activity levels and you will naturally eat more. Do this, and watch what happens to your weight and health. When you make this “Switch” everything changes.
Up next, I’ll be talking about the two most successful ways to eat. Learn them and you’ll develop a nutrient-rich healthy eating style of your own.