Is gaining weight simply eating more calories than you burn? Whilst this appears to make sense, perhaps we should look under the bonnet to understand better what’s going on.
1. Nutrition is KEY and Calories do NOT equate to nutrition. You need the nutrition goodies (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) to enable your body utilise the energy (calories) packed into that food; your cells can’t function effectively without those necessary vitamins and minerals – it’s like a car not being tuned properly and pinking down the road. Yes your amazing body works, but not as well as it could.
2. Fats are our friend. Every cell in your body has fat in the cell wall. And you need to eat this daily. The real problem is the QUALITY of the fat we eat. For years we’ve been told to ‘cut down on fat’; ‘saturated fat is bad’; This is only part of the story. Not all fat is bad, it’s the quality and quantity of fat that is bad. Every cell in your body relies on fat for its structure. Consuming bad fats makes cell walls rigid, resulting in nutrients having difficulty in crossing the barrier. This results in your cells (your body) not getting the nutrients it needs for best health. My clients wishing to lose weight are fat-deprived. Increase (good) fat consumption and their weight reduces. Top Tip: Cut out any processed food labelled ‘Low Fat’.
3. Hydrogenated or trans-fats are beyond terrible and every responsible health organisation agrees. Yet these chemically generated fats are still allowed in processed foods. They are in pastries, biscuits, pies, pizzas, margarines, cakes – in fact in most processed foods. They are cheap to produce and prolong the shelf-life of products. Good for the manufacturer, not good for the consumer. Please avoid. Removing trans-fats and hydrogenated fats will be the single most important nutrition decision you take.
4. Nutrients are in fresh foods. This may be meat or fish, but also vegetables and fruit. We are advised to eat 5 portions of veg and fruit a day. In fact, this should be 8-10 portions but originally the government thought this would be too overwhelming a target. Frozen is good too, but just not processed! Up the Greens intake!
5. The more a food has been through a factory, the less nutritional value it has.
6. Food that’s been thoroughly processed has very little of value for your cells. Calories yes, nutrients no. If the cells can't work effectively, the calories you’ve eaten can't be utilised and, you’ve guessed it, you wont burn so many calories, you’ll feel sluggish and …. You will put on weight.
7. So the trick is ….. eat nourishing foods, to provide the necessary elements for efficient chemical reactions in your body, to utilise the energy you’ve just consumed, to convert to energy to make you feel invigorated and ALIVE. Yey!