Can a body really starve to death while eating 3000 calories a day? Absolutely! The death just comes in different forms than it does when someone isn’t getting enough calories. It comes in the form of heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, strokes and many, many other forms. Those may not be the kind of deaths we usually associate with starving to death, but they are deaths none the less, due to nutrient starvation. Yikes!
Let me explain.
Many popular diets would have you to believe that weight management is completely about calories in versus calories out. Now, to some extent that is true. If you consume more than you burn, your body will store the extra in the fat stores. But if it were completely true, then a person who ate 3000 calories worth of donuts would be in the same shape as someone who ate 3000 calories worth of fruits and veggies.
Nutrients count! Our bodies were designed to burn good fuel, not garbage. The old adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.” rings very true here. The more I study about nutrition, the more I learn that we need a balance of all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in order to have our engines running in peak order. A deficiency in one vitamin means that another isn’t going to be as readily metabolized. Then your body actually becomes deficient in both vitamins even though you are getting adequate amounts of one of them. The way our bodies utilize nutrients never ceases to amaze me. It is a beautiful delicate balance that works magnificently to our benefit.
So, if you give yourself 3000 calories a day of processed, nutrient sparse food, you will very likely get sick. Even if you were actually able to burn all of those calories, your body wouldn’t have the nutrients that it needs to process the calories and so would store it as fat. Your muscles would become worn down, tired, deprived of nutrition and unable to help you metabolize your food. Your body goes into “starvation mode” and stores everything you eat as fat. Ugh! All that work just to gain more fat! It’s not fair!
Now, if you give yourself 3000 calories of nutrient dense foods such as, fruits, green veggies, lean meats, while cutting out starches . . . ya know, the good fuel, your body will have everything it needs to metabolize the calories and store it in the places where your body needs it. Your muscles develop stronger. Your bones grow denser. You immune system becomes hardier. Your brain, lymphatic and hormone systems run smoother. Ahhh…. your body thanks you by ridding itself of the extra fat that it doesn’t need. It didn’t want it anyway!
Over the years, as I have learned this, I have started to look at my diet in a new way. I don’t worry quite so much about the calories, but more about how many nutrients I can consume in a given meal. Can I add some spinach or tomato to that sandwich? Can I add some black beans to that soup? How about adding some wheat bran to those waffles and topping it with strawberries? I have started to look at those garbage foods as not only garbage, but wasted opportunities to give my body more nutrients. I only have so many calories a day that I can consume and I need to get as many nutrients packed into them as I can.
Moral of the story:
If you want to feel good and have your workouts do you the most good, give your body the fuel it really wants. It will thank you by feeling and looking the way you really want it to.
Kelly is a down to earth personal trainer who loves helping her clients catch the fitness bug. She is a busy triathlete who has completed many sprint to Iron distance races. As a mother of 5, she personally understands the challenge of balancing workouts and healthy, but kid friendly meals. Having struggled with her weight and with type II diabetes, she really knows what it is all about. Check out her website at http://ift.tt/1p2m5tj