Are you looking for the list of ten things? I hate to break it to you, but your body’s nutritional needs are much more complex than a 10 item list, so stop looking for the easy way out. With that said, I have about 5 or 6 points I would like to make :), these are lessons that I have learned myself, with guidance of some very educated and experienced people along the way. This diet post is going to be different, because I would like to educate you about your endocrine system, and why your emotions have far more of an effect on your body weight than you could have ever imagined.
What if I told you that your metabolic speed is directly related to your actions? That you are 100% in control and that genetics don’t play a large role in metabolism? What if the way you felt directly correlated with how you looked?
What if you had more control over your metabolism, how fast energy recycles in your body?
If you were thinner, more energetic, and more prepared to face the physical stresses of your future, would you be happier? Maybe how you feel is a more important question than you have ever realized.
All of these things are controlled by the endocrine system, a chemical messaging system that runs through your bloodstream and is released by your brain, your kidneys, and your digestive system. Seratonin is the neuro-hormone that scientists have found correlates with happiness, and 90% of our seratonin is in the intestines. What you eat correlates with your state of well being, and is the single largest contributor to good health beyond your mental state.
I am pretty sure humans were meant to be sensitive to our environment to help us survive. That is what will really have to change, if you want to change the way that your body operates, because you are the same as your environment, a part of it. Think there is an easy way out of the food question? Your ancestors didn’t either. Its time to step up and educate yourself so that you can become self-sufficient and eat optimally for your happiness, because its probably having a much bigger effect on your life than you realize.
The endocrine system is the chemical messaging system your body uses for slower change, such as digestion, growth, hormone regulation, etc. When we talk about dieting, this is probably the most important aspect of your body to pay attention to. Unfortunately, modern foods tend to have lots of excess chemical additives for extended preservation, which cause our internal chemical systems to get messed up. A lot of these chemicals are used in junk food, but also in things like meat, dairy, and poultry, so when we eat them, they can really mess up certain chemical processes in the body because the body doesn’t really know how to react to them because it isn’t evolved to consume and process them. They are engineered chemical additives that cause imbalance and things like obesity and illness due to improper nutrition and overconsumption and with time, things like cancer and heart disease.
1. This takes me to the first major thing you have to understand to optimize your body’s nutrition; your body is an ecosystem. 37 trillion cells, according to recent, incomplete estimations. Approximately 60% of the human body mass is water; less if you are obese, more if you are an infant or child.
2. This takes us to the second major point, water consumption; you are a walking hydraulic water lift system! Water and fluid content of your body is an enormous contributor to your metabolism, and one of the most overlooked aspects of dieting. Foods with high water content tend to be cleansing for the gastrointestinal tract and can provide the body with electrolytes, like potassium or magnesium from bananas or mangos. Legumes and big fruits are great. Harder, more sinuous vegetables like spinach and kale tend to build tight muscle. You are what you eat! Onto #3
3. Your environment has a huge effect on your body. Our body is designed to fight gravity from the moment we are born, and to take in the air around us through our lungs. The human body contains 65% oxygen, 18.5% carbon, and 9.5% hydrogen yet oxidation is a force that we are constantly fighting with the recycling of the cells in our body. So there is a certain balance that the body maintains, and that cycles with the environment. This brings me to the third point, your environment is a part of your body and your body is a part of your environment. We have to consider where you do the things that you do and ensure that you spend time around other humans and ideally nature. Other humans and their bodies are also a part of this environment and highly stressful situations can lead to higher stress levels, requiring greater outlets for stress release. Pay attention to the cycling of the moon, eat the food that is more abundant in your season, give your body a chance to cycle with the earth. Try to eat before 8pm and right when you wake up, eating a few meals earlier in the day rather than a huge dinner. Give your body nothing but the best, maybe go organic or find some local farms, try to avoid preservatives. Do you think that stuff is easy for your stomach to digest? Of course, if you live in the city, lots of these things aren’t available to you, but you should explore your city! Find way of exploring cuisine that bring you satisfaction, and don’t worry too much about it! This brings me to the fourth point:
4. Stress is the single biggest contributor to death in north america, in the form of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Stress is something that needs to be released on a regular basis, and can really be useful to maintaining a high level of physical performance. However, like all things, stress must be maintained in balance. Physical yoga could be defined as a certain type of stressing of the body, so there are definitely good types of stress, as well as bad. The single largest contributor to stress’ affect on your is your perception of stress, whether you like it or don’t like it, essentially, and your confidence level for success. In reality, it is all about your perception of the stressor. This brings me to the final, last, but certainly not least point:
5. It’s all in your head. When you are happy and at peace, your body will be too, even if you are eating less that optimally for your nutritional balance. Imbalance always correct themselves in one way or another, but happiness is truly something that is generated from within.
There are things no authors talk about in their ultra-marketed books made for mass consumption (sounds like McDonalds to me) because it would alienate their audience. The truth is very simple. Sugar is the number one drug on the planet. Its mass consumption is killing us, releasing its toxicity through our pores, giving us acne, causing massive dehydration because people prefer it to water, and getting us addicted to dorritos, cheetos, cheeze-its, and chilly dogs. High fructose corn syrup seems to be in every single desert at the major gorcery stores. America is sick, and only we can fix ourselves. Humans are not supposed to be obese, in fact, this new epidemic is 100% a result of the lifestyles we have chosen as Americans. Convenience. No, I’m not talking about the people with endocrine disorders, mental illness, or the genetics that cause those things. I’m talking about overconsumption.
6. Convenience kills. Things that look too good to be true often are. Cheesecake is ridiculous. Soda should be illegal. So should fast-food. Not really, but it really is that bad for you. Once a month, maybe, but why? Can’t you be more satisfied with something fresh that you cook for yourself? This brings me to my final point, I don’t even want to talk about the agricultural industry: You really aren’t meant to eat much meat.
There is some weird obsession about getting enough protein in the US. I’m not saying protein isn’t important, but its only 1/3 of the equation, with fats and carbs. Eating balanced in every meal is hard, but is makes it easy for the body to digest. Lentils and beans are great sources of protein if they are cooked properly.
I am not trying to offer rules, only guideance, these are things that work for me. I am almost completely pescatarian and try to eat organic when I can, but its hard because its expensive. But I do believe in supporting things economically, so where I spend my food money is important to me. I eat mostly from local grocery stores that buy the stuff that is around me. Whole foods when I can, though they have lots of junk now. Be careful out there, let me know how you do.