We live in a society where creative marketing dominates our every day choices in life. From our fashion, to our interests and hobbies, all the way to our food choices, we are constantly bombarded with limitless options and fancy advertising campaigns. With regards to food, mankind’s progression in manipulating chemicals, processing flavors, and harvesting preservatives has steered us away from what our body really desires – good old fashioned whole food eating. In fact, as our mastery in science grows we get further and further away from the essential nutrients that our bodies really require. Unnecessary weight gain, deteriorated health, and elevated stress has never been so rampant as it is today and the most simple solution to combat these ailments are eating the right nutrients from quality foods.
As a Diet Coach, many of my clients suffer from unwanted weight gain year in and year out without even knowing the reason why? Often their response is, “But I eat healthy all the time…”. Unfortunately when I dissect their eating patterns and habits this usually isn’t the case. Their diets are often filled with an overabundance of processed foods disguised as “healthy” food choices and what many of them don’t realize is processed food is chalk full of calories and lacking essential nutrients.
Choosing whole foods to eat (i.e. vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and organic proteins such as fish, chicken, red meat, etc.) would provide you with the opposite – food full of quality nutrients and low in calories. When the body is deprived of these essential nutrients, your body will certainly crave more eating and it becomes a vicious cycle of always succumbing to your cravings. Eating these whole foods on a regular basis allows the body to stay closer to its natural set points of weight and body fat composition.
Whole foods that are full of nutrients also provide balance in our internals. Our bodies rely on everything working in harmony for optimum living. Insulin levels are a great example of what is affected direly when consuming a diet that is steady in sugar, white bread, white rice, baked goods, and chemicals. Consuming food lacking in nutrients and quality cause extreme spikes in insulin. Typically insulin is secreted in the bloodstream when we eat and stores as glycogen in the muscles or lipids in the fat cells but when insulin spikes too frequently and too often from processed foods, our body starts to ignore insulin and that is when individuals become insulin resistant leading to such ailments as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. There is just so much quality and nutrients missing from these fancy labeled processed foods and a quality diet containing all the right nutrients is the best way to ensure that everything is in order internally.
A body living consistently on, what I like to call ‘anti-foods (such as white flour, processed foods, saturated fats, sugar, etc.)’, can negatively impact your liver, pancreas, and energy levels. This additional effort to break down substances lacking nutrients also elevates stress and cortisol levels. One thing of importance when a person is exercising regularly, there is a direct correlation with cortisol and testosterone whereas when cortisol goes up, testosterone goes down causing loss of lean muscle. The loss of lean muscle can also result in abdominal fat storage because cortisol is poured into fat cells as a protective mechanism and lean muscle acts as our metabolic furnace for fat burning. Now cortisol isn’t all bad as it plays a number of essential roles such as glucose regulation, fights inflammation and infection, and regulates central nervous system but when cortisol levels are too high it causes severe imbalances including susceptibility to illness, low energy levels, poor recovery, and weight gain. All of the above is definitely what we don’t want happening when it comes to our fitness goals.
Choose wisely when it comes to the foods you eat and, more importantly, do your own research. The human body is an incredibly powerful organism so eating some processed foods is hardly a cause for alarm but nothing can ever replace whole food eating because it is truly what nature intended for us, as human beings, to consume.
While we should certainly celebrate our success in scientific breakthroughs and advances in technology, there are some things that nature has always intended to stay pure – food.
Quality foods full of nutrients keep our minds clear, and our bodies healthy, and our lives in harmony.