Nutrition is vital to us, plain and simple, we need it, we enjoy it and we can’t live without it, but nutrition is a word that’s been ignored. Nutrition is something that’s so overlooked and so disregarded by too many people with the same goals. It still surprises me to see so many people are so unaware of just how important nutrition is to many things including their mood, their performance, their results in the gym and most importantly their vitality and health.
It may surprise you to know many physical and mental health conditions today can be attributed to a poor diet. Nutrition during pregnancy is a crucial period as even mild deficiencies can have profound long term implications or worse cause permanent birth defects. Child and adolescent nutrition is also of the up-most importance for the healthy development of a brain and body. Good nutrition at these stages can be pivotal. The correct nutrients and minerals boost the brains cognitive abilities helping with memory retention, concentration and learning ability. These nutrients also play key roles as structural components of all growing tissues all throughout the body. Nutrition is vital not just for aesthetic purposes but for the very foundations of our growing bodies since before we are even born.
Diet is the key to long term results
Most people however are fairly familiar with nutrition in terms of body composition and are aware of the ups and downs of dieting and trying to lose weight. So many times I have had people ask me the same questions over and over, they ask why they’re not losing weight or tell me how they cant seem to put muscle weight on and ask why that is. I usually respond with the same question first… well, tell me what you eat?
Nutrition provides our body with sustenance, it provides us with the vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients our body thrives off to make almost every physiological process possible and if your exercising this demand for sustenance is increased. Third to oxygen and water its an important life source we can’t live without. The body needs food and if it has no source of energy it will catabolise it’s own energy rich tissues in order to get what it needs. The body seeks these nutrients for it’s immediate needs at any cost.
This one reason many people fail on their fitness goals. They use fad diets that are far too restrictive which deprive the body of many essential nutrients or eat too much of certain nutrients altogether. Without some basic understanding of these processes, the long term result can be one step forward one back at best and at worst unhealthy. Of course this all leads to a very dismayed and disheartened individual that thinks they are “just one those people that cant lose/gain weight” despite trying every so-called diet when in fact the reasons why they’re not losing weight are very simple. They just don’t know it yet.
Today’s nutrition tradition
Unfortunately in today’s society nutrition has become more then just a means to survive, gone are the days where food was purely a source of fuel and a way to survive. We now live in an age where food is used traditionally as a way of socializing and a way of having fun. It’s also used as an emotional tool to make us “feel better” when were down and for a large majority its even used purely just to pass time. Due to the fact we no longer have to hunt for our food (and its available in abundance in mostly unnatural and processed forms all within a stone throw away), we now suffer with more medical issues associated with food alone more than ever. Diabetes, obesity, fatty liver disease, coronary heart disease, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia to name a few. Cancer, cardio-vascular disease, stroke, lung and liver disease are Britain’s biggest killers, most of which are preventable or attributed to poor diet and/or lifestyle. We also now live in an age where obesity has more then doubled since 1980, its dominating people of all ages and is also growing concern among children. Nutrition is an absolutely crucial element in improving longevity and good health. This is why it is in my view that food should be eaten mostly to provide the body with a benefit first and pleasure or convenience secondary where possible. We are after all what we eat what we eat.
Good nutrition alongside a healthy lifestyle
Good nutrition also should not excuse hard work in the gym. Research has consistently shown diet alone is less effective than diet and exercise combined. Training and nutrition go hand in hand, there’s no doubt about that and one will only take you so far. Once you have a healthy structured eating habit which reflects your goals, a good training regime will then be like the icing on the cake, that last piece to the puzzle…And remember, power is knowledge but knowledge is nothing without application.