Monday morning Motivation
A lot of people still buy into the misguided logic that exercise alone is enough to reach your physique goals. To put it plainly, nutrition should be your first line of defense when it comes to fat loss. Consider the amount of time it would take you to expend the calories you ingest in a measly tablespoon of nut butter (or scoop of mint chocolate chip for those not yet on the clean eating bandwagon) every day. How much easier would it be to simply NOT EAT that extra spoonful of nut butter? Clearly your time is better spent planning your meals for the day than slogging it out on the treadmill trying to make up for your nutritional transgressions.
Another trap a lot of gym-goers fall prey to is the idea that a “calorie is a calorie,” and that as long as they stay within an allotted caloric intake they will see their body composition and health improve. But the flaw in that logic is that a calorie is not simply a calorie: it is a product of three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat). Protein and carbohydrate both contribute 4 calories per gram, while fat provides 9 calories per gram. For you math minded folks out there it’s a simple formula:
Total calories = (Grams of Protein X 4) + (Grams of Carbohydrate X 4) + (Grams of Fat X 9)
Your body processes each macronutrient differently and they have different implications for your health, energy level, and weight management depending on when and in what ratio they are consumed. You should aim for a proper balance of all three macronutrients, ideally coming from quality food sources. It doesn’t take a registered dietitian to recognize that a diet consisting of nothing but Twinkies is going to have a very different effect on the body than the same number of calories coming from lean proteins, fresh produce, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. So it really isn’t as simple is calories in, calories out as many would have you believe. A few words to help steer you in the right direction…
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
Francois La Rochefoucauld
“The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
“He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skill of the physician.”
“We never repent of having eaten too little.”
“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.”
Peter De Vries
Bottom line: Before you eat something, ask what, if anything, it’s going to do for your body. If you’re at a loss, or if you know the food in question is less than ideal for your health, well-being, and/or waistline, try replacing it with a more optimal option. And please, don’t try to justify something you know is junk by lying to yourself about what it provides you. Garbage in, garbage out.