A lot of times when we read articles about nutrition or see a nutritionist terms such as “balanced” and “in moderation” show up. Yet, surely nutrition must be a little more complex than one big balancing act? Not necessarily. We as humans like to over complicate things due to our intelligent and ego driven brains when nutrition, like so many basic aspects of life, is a very simple equation.
You’ve probably heard of the saying “you are what you eat”. Indeed, this may have been drilled into you from an early age – but how much attention do you honestly pay to this principle? You don’t need GI doctors to tell you that all that sugar, saturated fat, and caffeine is bad for your health and well being. We all know that excessive sugar, fat, and salt are bad for our hearts and can cause Type II diabetes… yet, we keep on doing the same thing.
Rather than beat yourself up and make all sorts of rules about what you can and can’t eat, the best way to approach the great balancing act of nutrition is to picture a bank account. With a bank account there are deposits and withdrawals. The deposits nourish your bank balance while the withdrawals deplete it. If there are too many withdrawals, the account becomes overdrawn, and you end up in financial trouble.
Using this metaphor as a parallel for nutrition, it’s clear that deposits and withdrawals exist. As an example, drinking a vitamin filled smoothie could be considered a deposit because you are investing nutrients that are going to replenish and revitalize your body. Whereas eating a chocolate bar would be considered to be a withdrawal because it is not doing anything for you.
Making the occasional withdrawal is fine, as this way, there is still an equilibrium. If you are to withdraw more from this bank account nutritionally then you are putting in is when you run into problems. That’s when serious diseases start to occur. The word disease represents that your body is in a state of dis-ease; meaning it is out of balance. No matter what your current condition of health is, the best way to ensure a long and healthy life is to keep your bank account in credit and balance the books!
Nutrition is important. And what is equally as important to what we put in our mouths, is how often and how intensely we move our bodies. Just a twenty minute walk at a moderate pace with some good music will do the trick to get you into the “aerobic zone”. One of the most universal and all around forms of exercise that requires very little equipment, and is accessible for all, is swimming. It is easy on your body and it sure is fun.
The bank account of your health depends primarily on two things; the food you eat and the amount of exercise that you complete. Hopefully, this simple metaphor of the bank account will inspire you to make better day to day choices and keep on top of the balancing act that is nutrition.
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