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5 Reasons Why Nutrition Should Stop Being Grossly Overlooked & Underappreciated

By Nate Servati












Why is nutrition so overlooked and underappreciated in the first place? One problem is that this society is more stressful on everyone than it has ever been, yet we overlook the smallest things that can help manage or relieve that. Another problem stems from the last one, at least a third of the United States population is considered obese. That’s not counting the rest of the people in the world that can be considered obese, let alone overweight.


Now that we’ve put that into perspective, how do we change that? The harsh reality is that the world isn’t going to change overnight. But the first and most crucial step is to spread awareness of the statistics and of why your nutrition should be treated as a key to your future.


1.) It’s a reflection of your lifestyle.

Discipline

I know just about everyone hates that word, but discipline is powerful when it comes to sustaining the lifestyle that you want. If you’re constantly doing things that don’t align with your desired lifestyle, do you think you’ll ever have it?


Discipline is not the same as torture unless you make it feel that way for yourself. You don’t have to be perfect to establish the lifestyle you’re after, you just need to be open and willing to improve. Nobody can sustain being perfect anyway the last time I checked.


Self-Respect

Whatever you put into your body is ultimately what you get out of it and how you’ll be represented to others. If you eat a bunch of junk, your thoughts and actions might turn out the same way. If you don’t care about what’s going in, it most likely means you don’t care about and respect yourself on the level that you think you do.


Imagine if someone else had all the control over what you ate and you had no control whatsoever. How or what would you want them to feed you? If you wouldn’t want someone else to feed you what isn’t good for you in the long run, why would you do it to yourself?


Sadly, that’s an explanation as to why we see kids that are overweight for their age. Some parents don’t even respect or care about themselves enough to have respect and care for their children. So those kids are overweight early in their life by no fault of their own. How fair is that?


It shows how much you value your future.

How long of a life do you wish to live? The longest one that you can, right? That might not go as planned if you simply don’t care about what you need so that you can have that. Optimal and sustainable nutrition is absolutely necessary for a long and healthy life.


But people will say, “Why can I not just eat what makes me happy?”, and I have a simple rebuttal for that. Because we don’t/shouldn’t eat to be happy, we eat to maintain our bodily functions, energy, and our lives as a whole. Happiness should come from what you’re doing/have done in life or where you’re headed. If you have to have certain foods just to be happy, you may need to seek professional help. Yes, eating can relieve stress, and it’s supposed to. But that shouldn’t be the main reason you eat certain foods or at all.


With all of that in mind, think of what you aspire for in your life. Think of the people that you’ll soon have beside you and the goals you’re striving to achieve. If you can’t be there for those people or achieve those goals, how would that make you feel? Your lifestyle is dependent on many factors, especially your nutrition and other forms of self-care.

2.) Life gets a little easier once you figure out your nutrition.

It’ll be able to fit around whatever lifestyle you desire.

With experience, you’ll be able to figure out what works best for you. You’ll be able to adjust certain aspects of your nutrition based on your schedule, desires, and much more.


Even if it takes you quite some time to acclimate your nutrition to what you want it to be, it’s well worth it. Not only will you feel better about what you’re doing, but you’ll learn a ton about yourself.


You’ll develop some creativity.

Once you dive deeper into your intake, you’ll start thinking of ways to either make it easier to track and/or have unique ideas when it comes to recipes and meals.


For example, you can create a spreadsheet that contains how many calories are in certain meals for tracking purposes. Not only will that relieve some of your stress if you don’t enjoy tracking calories, but you’ll also start to get a feel for how much certain meals are/could be and what actually works for you in awkward situations.


You won’t feel as restricted.

If you think of how it will start to fit around your desired lifestyle and the creativity that you’ll develop with experience, you won’t associate nutrition with restriction.


You’ll begin to realize that it’s not as difficult or stressful as it seemed at first. That’s especially true whenever you have your habits and systems in place. Sustainability will be in your hands.


3.) You need the proper fuel and recovery for whatever you do.

High-Intensity or Long Sports/Seasons

The higher the intensity or the longer the duration of an exercise or activity, the higher your requirements for fuel are. For example, if you’re a CrossFit athlete, you’ll need more calories from carbohydrates and possibly more calories in total to compensate.


What’s concerning is that to athletes, nutrition is sometimes an afterthought compared to their performance throughout a season. It’s ironic but scary because not only does it affect their performance, it affects their overall health. We’re talking immune and nervous system issues, injuries, hormonal imbalances, lack of physical and mental recovery, and the list goes on and on.


How can you optimally perform as an athlete if you don’t have the fuel so you can recover? It just won’t happen.


High-Stress Environments

We won’t get too scientific here, but what you need to know is that stress can cancel any adaptations that your body should be making based on what you’re doing and what your goals are.


To manage that, we do in fact need some more intake. We’ve all heard of stress eating and we know the negative side effects that come with it. The trick here is to be careful with what you eat when you’re stressed. Usually, something lower in total calories that still has a solid carbohydrate composition can relieve stress. But when it comes to carbohydrates in the circumstance of stress eating, try very hard to avoid sugar. Sugar could amplify the amount that you eat, but not always. Just keep that in mind.


Being Sedentary

Obviously, the less active you are, the less energy you’ll use up. And with less energy output, you won’t need quite as much fuel to maintain your body as it is. But it’s still important to keep stress and other factors in mind.


4.) Lack of care regarding nutrition can lead to mental health issues.

Body Image

It’s common for people that are either overweight/obese or yo-yo dieting to not be satisfied with their bodies or how they see themselves. This can be classified as body dysmorphia or Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).


A prime example of this would be bodybuilding. Bodybuilders restrict their intake for their season and then try to venture back towards their body’s normal maintenance weight in the post/off-season. What do you think some of them start mentally developing? Because they were looking jacked, shredded, and all the above, but now they don’t look quite the same. They wonder why they can’t look stage-lean year-round and they find themselves in a mental state of lack, even if they still look amazing. All they can see is that they aren’t at the same level they were. Imagine what that can lead to. They could start over-training or over-compensating for things that aren’t even a problem from most people’s perspectives.


Instant Gratification & Constant Guilt

Would you rather find joy in only this moment or for the rest of your life? You might think that’s an idiotic question, but think about why you eat certain foods just to make you feel good. You might think that this perspective is rather absurd, but it’s just like anything else that increases your “negative dopamine levels”. It’s just like any other addiction.


When you eat “junk food”, you feel good in that instant, but guilty in the time following. That’s what you call instant gratification. You want more things that align with delayed gratification in your life because your dopamine levels can be substantial throughout the rest of your life.


5.) It’s not always about losing weight or looking good.

Performance

As I mentioned previously, many athletes don’t care about nutrition as much as they should most of the time due to their attention and emphasis towards performance.


Again, if you don’t fuel yourself properly, how can you expect to perform at your highest level?


Longevity & Sustainability

When it comes to nutrition, sustainability is the name of the game. Why do you think all of those over-restrictive diets fail for most people? It’s because they can’t sustain it. They feel horrible, lack energy, so on and so forth. So if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to take it slow, not rush it. You can actually start to ruin your metabolism by rushing fat loss.


And as I mentioned previously, proper and sustainable nutrition results in longevity. Long and healthy lives come to those that care about and optimize all the things that they can control. Luckily for all of us, out of everything that goes on in life, we can at least control what enters our bodies and how we care for ourselves.


Digestive Problems

Simply put, either not having enough fiber and/or having too much fat or protein can cause issues with your digestive system. But usually, with fats and protein, it’s more of the quick and drastic intake adjustments that cause problems.



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