We’ve all heard the old saying “You are what you eat;” however, are YOU what you eat? We know that the saying doesn’t truly mean that if you eat a candy bar you become one; but it does mean that what you put in your body builds your body. You have the choice to build a healthy body or to build an unhealthy body. What type of body are you building?
Nutrition is an important factor in quality of life. If you eat well you feel well; if you feel well you enjoy your life and your body will thank you by being healthy too. The best part is you can start a healthy lifestyle and exercise program at any age; especially if you are safely guided by an experienced and highly skilled physical therapist or personal trainer from Live Your Life Physical Therapy.
Your body operates with two basic types of metabolism when you eat and process food. The first metabolic process is called the constructive process. The constructive process builds and stores energy from the food you have eaten. The process itself is called anabolism and promotes the growth and maintenance of cells (new cell growth is promoted), converting energy through body fat, and repairing tissue among other things.
The second metabolic process is the destructive metabolic process and its purpose is to break down the nutrients of what you have eaten to create energy. It provides energy to the body and breaks down the molecules of the nutrients in order to release energy instead of building it up inside the body. This process is called catabolism.
The catabolism process has three components to it. One component is the resting metabolism, which is responsible for ensuring normal bodily functions. This process is called the Basal Metabolism and is constantly happening within your body, even if you are at complete rest, making it the main component of the metabolic process. It is responsible for processing between 60% – 70% of the food you take in. Those who want to lose weight want the highest basal metabolic rate (BMR) they can achieve.
The second component of the catabolism process is Physical Movement. This is any movement your body does, from simple everyday movement to extensive exercising. It accounts for utilizing 25% of the calories you consume.
The third component of the catabolism process is the Thermic Effect of Food and accounts for about 10% of the calories you consume from food. The Thermic Effect of Food is the actual processing and digesting of the food you consume.
How Your Metabolism Works
With the components explained above you can see that the calories you expend when you take in food work like this:
Calories expended from the Basal Metabolism which is 60%-70%
Calories expended by Physical Movement +25%
Calories expended by Digestion of the Food +10%
In order to lose weight you want to increase your metabolism, which will thereby burn more calories. You can do this by making changes in your lifestyle and the kinds of food you chose. One of the easiest ways to increase your metabolism is by increasing your exercise. If you are someone who doesn’t move around much (a couch potato) then beginning with just a small amount of increased movement can raise your metabolic rate. However, exercise has to be done properly; which is where Live Your Life Physical Therapy comes into the picture. LYLPT can assess your abilities and create a one-on-one exercise routine for you that will not overwhelm you and encourage you to stick with the program. The fact that we come to you helps you stay motivated and gives you a higher chance of success! The end result is a healthier, stronger body on the inside and the out. We all know the benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, stronger lungs, and an overall increase in energy. The best part is we can work with you no matter what age you are and no matter what physical shape you are in because we provide an experienced and highly skilled physical therapist or personal trainer to walk with you every step of the way.
Many people think that reducing the number of calories you take into your body is the way to get healthy; however nothing could be further from the truth. Food is like gasoline for your body; providing your body with energy. By eating the proper food you can create a healthier you with ease. Your body needs to take in certain types of foods for fuel.
- Carbohydrates – while many people think the word carbohydrates is a dirty word that’s simply not the truth. Approximately 50% of your calorie intake should actually come from carbs; however, it’s the type of carbs that matter. There are two types of carbs, simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs tend to be processed foods; loaded with preservatives, artificial coloring & sweeteners, and chemicals. These carbs are NOT your friend. Complex carbohydrates are the type of carbohydrates that your body can easily process into energy and the type that will help you become healthier. Here’s a short list of the types of carbs that are healthy for you:
- Oatmeal, whole grains & whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, bran, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, green peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, squash, bean sprouts, onion, garlic, asparagus, corn
- Protein – your body processes proteins into amino acids. Amino acids are needed to build muscle and cells. Some of the better proteins you can eat in order to be nutritious include:
- Fish, eggs, chicken (breasts & legs without the skin), milk, whey (a good source of whey can be the protein powders that are made out of whey – GMO free & soy free is best)
- Fats – fats have gotten a bad wrap in the nutrition world but the truth is that fats are a very important source that your body needs. What you need to take into consideration is the type of fat you are consuming. You want “healthy” fats such as:
- Coconut oil, olive oil, seeds, & nuts
- Other Foods – there are some other foods that don’t necessarily fall into the major food categories which can be very beneficial in eating nutritiously. These include spices, especially “hot” spices such as cayenne pepper, which tend to actually increase your metabolism. If you can tolerate heat then add some spices to your dishes. Some spices such as turmeric have an anti-inflammatory property to them and can be especially helpful to those who suffer from joint pain. Nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables are considered “healthy” to you and should be incorporated into your daily food intake. Teas, especially green tea, have been proven to help with weight loss; however, you also have to keep in mind that consuming too much caffeine is not healthy. You want to make sure the teas you are taking in are caffeine free (such as herbal teas) or at least low in caffeine. Water is an essential to any nutritional program. Your body is made up mainly of water so replenishing it regularly is an absolute necessity. Studies have shown that any intake of liquids is beneficial but the value of good old fashioned water can never be understated. If you prefer you can “infuse” your water with fresh fruits and let them seep in your refrigerator so that your water has a slight fruity taste to it. It won’t be overly sweet but give you a refreshing flavor that can be quite enjoyable.
Needless to say, eating a healthy diet regularly will not only make your body feel better but it will help increase your energy and help avoid many diseases that are connected to both obesity and processed foods. Diabetes is on the rise due to obesity and improper diet; both Type I and Type II Diabetes are affected by your diet so proper nutrition is key to avoiding Type II diabetes and helping your body regulate blood sugar levels if you already have diabetes. Many cancers have been linked to a poor diet, along with heart disease. Needless to say if you truly do take the words to heart that “You are what you eat” then changing to a healthy diet can make you a healthy person. Add some exercise to your day and I guarantee that between these two changes, which can be done as slowly or a quickly as you desire, will make a world of difference to how you feel.
You deserve to Live Your Life Healthy. Utilizing a physical therapist or personal trainer who can come to you, anywhere in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs, will be the first step to being healthy and feeling wonderful. Give Live Your Life Physical Therapy a call today so we can assess your needs and abilities. We will create a program for you based on your current lifestyle and abilities. It’s never too late to get healthy!
Dedicated to Keeping You Healthy & Active,
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Live Physical Therapy, LLC