Monday, December 1, 2014

Food Is Not The Enemy

     People are constantly so concerned with what they're eating and how much they're eating and how healthy they're being without really knowing what that means. It seems to me that people have a very misconstrued idea about what "healthy" means. I see lots of people who think that being healthy means only eating salads and vegetables all day or that they can only eat tiny portions and only eat a couple times a day, which is not good and not enough. Many people don't seem to understand that not eating enough can be just as bad as eating too much and that avoiding food is not a good route to go. I'm not claiming to be an expert on health or nutrition but I have learned a thing or two.

     Food is not a bad thing. Food is not our enemy or something we should be avoiding. We shouldn't be avoiding cravings and refusing to give into our hunger for fear of gaining weight. We should be paying attention and realizing that if we are craving something, it's because our body is missing something and that if we are hungry, it's because our bodies need food. Food is our fuel and we need all different kinds of it to function correctly.

     Cutting out carbs altogether or refusing to eat sweets or some specific food is only going to make you crave it more. Sweets are not evil and if you want a cookie once in a while, you shouldn't be ashamed to eat one. We shouldn't be afraid of food or what we're eating because we think it has too many calories or is too fattening. We should look at food as a good thing because it is literally what sustains our bodies and our lives. Not eating well or not eating enough can affect so many different things in your body in a negative way. It can make you more tired or throw off your sleeping or make you feel out of energy all the time. It can be just as unhealthy or worse than eating too much.

     Our bodies actually need carbs and fat and sugar and people seem to think that these are all horrible things that they should avoid at all costs, but that's just not the case. It's frustrating to watch people deprive their bodies of what they actually need to function. Obviously I'm not saying that you should just eat whatever you want all the time regardless of whether it has nutritional value or is horrible for you, but I'm saying that anything is fine in moderation. Having a cookie once is not going to make you gain five pounds and neither is eating a burger as long as it's not all the time. Not every meal needs to be the most healthy meal you've ever eaten.

     People tend to think that they need to diet in order to be healthy or thin, but that's not the case. Eating less than the amount of calories that your bodies needs is dieting and it's unhealthy. When you under eat, you're depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to function and slowing your metabolism so when you eat normally, you'll only end up weighing more than you did originally. Everyone has a different body that has a different natural weight that it's going to be and you can only change it so much without hurting yourself.

     One thing that people seem to never take into account is that muscle weighs more than fat and it also burns more calories than fat. That means that you can gain weight by gaining muscle and it does not mean that you're getting fat. I know tons of girls that are afraid to work out because they don't want to see the number on the scale raise but it's because they don't understand that gaining weight is not a bad thing when you're gaining muscle. Weight is just the amount of gravity pushing down on your body and means nothing compared to the actual state of your health. How working out and eating is affecting your body should be the focus rather than how it's affecting the number on the scale. That number doesn't tell you how much of that weight is from fat or from muscle or from anything else and it can be easily misconstrued as gaining fat when it's actually not.

     Of course, over eating and having a terrible diet will result in gaining fat but if you eat normally and healthily and provide your body with what it needs without indulging too much, you'll sit at a normal weight and that will be different from someone else's normal weight. Not everyone will be tiny because not everyone has a fast metabolism and trying to diet your way to a different body won't work. Depriving your body in order to change its appearance won't do you any favors in the long run and people don't seem to understand that. The only way to actually make a long term difference is to eat healthy and exercise. It's really that simple. There's no secret diet or cleanse that will make you lose all your extra weight in a week because that's unhealthy and unsustainable.

     The only real secret, which - surprise - is actually common sense and is that you should eat healthy. That means actually eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner (even snacks) and eating protein and vegetables and carbs and fruits and fat and everything else. Eating fat and having fat is not bad. You actually need fat on your body because without it you would not be alive. Our bodies are not meant to live off of salad forever and we aren't meant to have zero fat and perfectly flat stomachs. Some people have naturally higher metabolisms or flatter stomachs while others don't or have curvier bodies and no person's body is better than another one. People need to stop thinking in terms of weight and fat and restrictions and start thinking in terms of their health and being satisfied and actually feeling good for a change.


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