Monday, January 11, 2010

The First Principle of Good Nutrition

If you are trying to lose body fat, your nutrition is as important or even more important than your exercise training. A lot of clients can motivate themselves with a lower Calorie diet for a short time (2-6 weeks) and can see some decent progress in their body composition. However, like most 'diets', the wheels will come off sooner or later and you will experience a gain in body fat. People lose motivation, interest, focus, and dedication over time to proper nutrition. So, I feel you need to take a different approach to motivating yourself to eat healthfully. And, you need to stop equating dieting with proper nutrition. You need to educate yourself.

My approach to nutrition, and my first principle of proper nutrition, is to view eating as an opportunity to provide your cells with the important nutrients they need to function optimally. Effectively, eliminating a lot of processed empty Calories. So many people are walking around with 'conditions' that are far from optimal.

Proper nutrition will actually 'turn-on' many anabolic, immuno-protective, and anti-aging genes. If you fail to take advantage of this 'opportunity' and consume a lot of highly-processed, artificial, nutrient-poor foods, you will actually be depriving your cells of vital nutrients. Additionally, a lot of these foods (and based on what the majority of Americans eat, I use that term loosely) have substances that actually disrupt normal metabolism and deplete your body of important nutrients; this will set up a physiological cascade of cellular dysfunction, catabolism, and possibly the beginning of many pathological conditions.

I will discuss more specifically what our cells need in great detail in future posts (note: it doesn't include Coke Zero). From what I hear from clients, a solid knowledge of nutrition science is desperately needed! The take home message is that we must proactively approach each day and meal as an opportunity to provide the nutrients our cells need to maintain optimal function (and keep out as much garbage as we can). This is extremely vital in the twenty-first century because more than ever we are surrounded by what Kelly Brownell of The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale describes as a "toxic environment," chalk full of addicting, superstimulating, cellular-destructive foods and pseudo-foods.

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