Back in 2010, I was a workout machine. I was doing CrossFit five times a week. I was training for a marathon, running three times a week with one of those being a long run of up to 20 miles. I also had a horseback riding lesson once a week (controlling a 1500lb animal with just your legs and four fingers is a HUGE workout, and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise). With all that working out, I figured I didn’t need to worry about what I was eating, I was surely losing weight. Well, it turns out I wasn’t. Despite all that working out, or perhaps because of it (expending that much energy makes you hungry), I was still eating too much. No matter how much you workout, if you eat too much you won’t lose weight.
Even if you aren’t eating too much, here are some reasons why it is still important to try and eat well/healthy:
- Certain vitamins (A, D, E and K) are fat soluble, so you need to consume *some* fat to get the benefits of that multi-vitamin. A diet that is *too* low in fat will prevent absorption of those nutrients. So if you’re counting on a multi-vitamin to get your RDA of nutrients, make sure you have a bit of fat in your diet.
- Dietary fat also triggers the hormone leptin to signal to your brain that you are no longer hungry. When the brain detects leptin in the blood stream, it triggers that “I’m satisfied” feeling and can help keep you from overeating.
- Sufficient protein in your diet is required to help build muscles. If you’re trying to add some muscle to your frame to look more toned or just trying to get stronger, having protein is a MUST!
- Carbohydrates can help give us a quick boost of energy. Simple starches like fruits can be broken down into energy very easily by our bodies. More complex whole grains “burn” more slowly, giving you fuel for a longer time. Be careful, however, as too many carbs can lead to a crash and feeling groggy.
Which leads us to what can happen when we fuel ourselves with bad nutrition:
- Eating crap will also make you feel like crap.
- If you constantly forego fruits, veggies and whole grains, that lack of fiber will leave you feeling bloated and possibly constipated.
- Missing nutrients can make you feel tired, sluggish and cranky. While a multi-vitamin can help, remember that certain vitamins don’t work without a partner. I mentioned the fat soluble vitamins earlier. Calcium cannot be absorbed without Vitamin D. It’s always best if you can get your nutrients from whole foods, since nature designed them as the best nutrition delivery vehicle.
So if you find yourself feeling out of sorts, take a look at what might be missing from your diet!