I will be the first to put up my grubby mit and say that I was never the best at understanding the difference between calories and nutrients – and I am in no way the expert now (learning in progress). I had the warped idea that because I was training (at times very hard), I could eat what I liked – well why not? I have burned all those calories, does it really matter what I stuff into my body? After all, I need to replace calories burned with calories, right? Wrong; so wrong.
It has now been 2 months since I have been on the plant based journey and I can honestly say I have never felt better – in my life! The energy that I have has really shocked me. I have learned through this journey the importance of consuming nutrients rather than purely consuming calories. The output from this has been more energy. Whilst I have been researching I came across some definitions of food, nutrients and calories.
Food – Any nutritious substance that is consumed in order to maintain and sustain life and growth and to repair and furnish energy.
Nutrient – A substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of metabolism and life.
Calorie – the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree.
Now, I do understand that a calorie is a calorie. If you look at the definition of calorie, where does it mention about building; healing; sustaining life? What I have learnt to realise is that a calorie from nutirent dense food is better for me than a calorie from food that is less nutrient dense, i.e. wholesome v junk. It is not as simple as I previously thought ‘calories in v calories out’ and this is because not all calories are the same. Calories alone do not support the body, it is the nutrients within that calorie that support the body.
Understanding nutrition has become a part of my way of life now and I am feeling the benefits of the right food choices. As I have said before, I am in no way an expert, but I am learning through research and also by the way my body is reacting to the food that I am eating. Additionally, I’m not trying to advocate that everyone eats the way I do; I am sure that there would be many arguements against it.- the old protein one is a great topic of conversation. Trouble is, when I was eating the way I was, nobody really came up me expressing their concerns about how nutritionally rich my food was or how much fiber had I eaten that day. However, I would highly recommend in taking a closer look at the nutritional benefits of what you are going to put into your body.
Whatever your nutritional choice, I hope that it is the best for you. I for one wish that I had understood nutrition better years ago – but, I am understanding it more and more now and am definitely feeling better for consuming more nutrient dense food.
Have a fit and healthy day.