People are often surprised by the quantity of food that I eat.
Upon waking up, I eat some fruit and protein. After the gym, I have a protein shake and bowl of cereal. For lunch, I usually eat a chicken or turkey wrap overflowing with fresh veggies, a side of carrot sticks, humus and a vibrant salad. My afternoon snack – often an apple with peanut butter – is followed by a dinner of steamed vegetables and a main course. Depending on the day, dessert is either a smoothie, protein shake and berries or Greek yogurt.
All in all, it’s a lot of food for a 5’8.5″ guy weighing 155lbs with 8% body fat. Of course, it’s exactly what I need to eat to fuel my active lifestyle.
My approach to food is something isn’t unique to me – but it is an approach that has been gaining traction in the health and wellness community. In a recent paper published in the July 3 issue of the journal Circulation, researchers from the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center concluded that the current obesity strategies of “just eating less” aren’t cutting it.
Researchers found that food restriction, in and of itself, isn’t effective in reducing obesity. The calorie restriction does result in an initial weight loss, but this process triggers the body’s natural survival instincts to prevent starvation. A lower metabolic rate is resulted and the body typically burns 170 to 250 fewer calories for a 10% weight loss and 325 to 480 fewer calories for a 20% weight loss.
According to the paper’s lead author:
We are not going to reduce obesity by focusing only on reducing food intake. Without increasing physical activity in the population we are simply promoting unsustainable levels of food restriction. This strategy hasn’t worked so far and it is not likely to work in the future.
In other words, it’s really about changing the message from “eat less, move more” to “move more, eat smarter.” And I couldn’t agree more.
Despite the temptation to live an increasingly sedentary lifestyle – and to spend more and more time in front of our phones, computers or televisions – it’s more important than ever to get up and get moving. And when we do get moving, we need to fuel our bodies accordingly. It doesn’t mean “starving” ourselves and skipping meals. On the contrary, it’s about eating those foods that nourish our bodies – like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and berries – in appropriate quantities and in proportion to our increased activity levels.
Does the “move more, eater smarter” mantra resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below.