Let’s name all the foods you’ve been told are terrible, shall we? First, there was fat. People thought that if you ate fat, you’d be fat. Then it was carbohydrates. Eat a carb and you were destined for obesity, diabetes, and an early grave. Now, it’s gluten. That shit’s responsible for migraines, weight gain, chronic fatigue, and a host of other uncomfortable conditions.
Or is it?
Here’s the thing: there are elements of truth in all of that. But the bigger truth is that your body needs all of the nutrients—and a ton of others—to function well. And cutting out any one of them undermines your fit body goals.
Like It or Not, You Need Fat, Carbs, & Protein…
Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are macronutrients, basically the nutrients your body needs in large amounts. Each plays a specific role in running your body:
- Fat: Fats, perhaps the most maligned macronutrient, helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K; plus, it helps cells maintain their membranes and cushion your organs. It’s also where your body stores energy.
- Carbohydrates: These become glucose (oh, my god, no!!), which is not just fuel for your body, it’s the main fuel for your body. Some organs—like your brain—need it to function well. Moreover, fiber is a carbohydrate, and that’s essential for good pooping.
- Proteins: Most people know that proteins help build muscle, but that’s just one of their many functions. Proteins also strengthen your bones and boost your metabolism while burning fat.
…And a Whole Bunch of Other Things
Macronutrients aren’t the only things your body needs. You also have to make sure to get all of your micronutrients, which are involved in just about every process your body undertakes.
The list of essential micronutrients is waaaaaaaay too long to write out in detail. Instead, I’m going to go for the highlights, such as:
- Water-soluble vitamins: These include vitamin B everything, all of which help with all sorts of energy production processes, and vitamin C, which is involved with skin maintenance.
- Fat-soluble vitamins: I mentioned these before. These include vitamin A, for vision and organ function; vitamin D, for your immune system and bone growth; vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant that protects cells; and vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone development.
- Macrominerals: You’ve probably heard of and thought about almost all of these, including calcium, for strong bones and teeth; magnesium, which regulates blood pressure; and potassium, to help with nerve and muscle function.
- Trace minerals: Who would have thought iron was a trace mineral? Others are zinc, copper, and fluoride. Plus anyone with thyroid issues should know about selenium and iodine in particular.
Your body uses all of these nutrients, and more importantly, it usually uses them together. When you take out an entire food group, your body gets smart and eventually stops producing the enzymes needed to break that food group down. That is a recipe for issues down the road, for sure.
Take fruit for example. People demonized fruit for a while, claiming its excessive sugar destroyed their weight-loss efforts (cough, cough bullshit). But nature actually balances out the sugar in fruits with necessary fiber (great for weight loss, btw) and loads of micronutrients. Drop fruit and you may miss out on all that goodness.
The same goes for the never-ending low-fat, no-fat craze. Taking out the fat from say your dairy leaves just the natural sugar and none of the good stuff, like omega-3s that can improve brain and heart health and lower your risk for cancer.
Does Cutting Out a Food Group Help You Lose Weight?
Well, yeah. But is it sustainable weight loss? Probably not. And it’s definitely not healthy weight loss because your body won’t get the nutrients it needs.
Ultimately, you’re looking for balance. Eating a balanced diet gets your body back to its natural state—which is (believe it or not) healthy, strong, and full of energy.
One Size Fits…One
Long story short? Your diet needs to be just that: your diet. Nobody else’s diet is necessarily going to bring about the health and vitality that you’re looking for. In fact, let’s stop calling it a diet altogether. Let’s call it your personal eating style. My goal is to help people find the personal eating style that supports the lives they want to live.
Wishing you all the best in health,