Nutrition. The Quick and Dirty.

stock-photo-background-concept-wordcloud-illustration-of-hormones-hormonal-signal-77777350I could not be more pleased about yesterday’s turnout! Hopefully the reasons we are eating this way were clarified from a mechanical, hormonal standpoint. How can we best fuel our machine? There was a ton of information in a really short span of time so here is the wrap up to help jot your memory:

What is GOOD Nutrition?

-It achieves ideal health, body composition and performance goals

-properly controls energy balance

-provides nutrient density

-honest and outcome based

-sustainable for us and the planet

What are limiting factors between me and my goals?

-Genetic make-up

-Physical activity patterns

-physiology (hormones, disease, etc)


-NUTRITION (80%) of what your body looks/feels like

What is FOOD?

-MACROnutrients: Protein/Fat/Carbohydrate

_MICROnutrients: Vitamins/Minerals


-PROTEIN: The building blocks (amino acids) for contractile tissue (muscle), tendons, ligaments, hair, (non-steroidal) hormones, enzymes, immune chemicals (blood:immunoglobulins/antibodies), transport proteins. (4 cal/gram)

-FAT: Provides a slow and steady burning energy source/calories. Most energy dense macronutrient (9 cal/gram). Fats manufacture and balance hormones, form cell membranes, form our brain and nervous system, transport fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) and provide two essential fatty acids (omega 3&6) that the body cannot produce.

-CARBOHYDRATES: Our easiest and more preferred source of fuel! Quickly breaks down into glucose (blood sugar). (4 cal/gram).

-WATER: Water makes up approximately 60% our our total bodyweight! It acts as a solvent (dissolves other solids, liquids and gases), it’s a transporter, catalyst (speeds up enzymatic interactions with other chemicals), lubricates the spine, joints, eyes, regulates temperature through hydration and sweat, provides a source of minerals and assists in anabolic processes such as excretion, blood volume, hydration, dehydration.

Why the heck are HORMONES important?

Hormones are signaling molecules transported by the circulatory system to distant organs to regulate physiology and behavior. In layman’s terms: hormones are the messages telling your body parts what to do from basic functioning to mood. Four important hormones in regards to what you are putting into your mouth are:

-INSULIN: The master storage hormone. It is secreted by the pancreas. It’s job is to rush in after you’ve eaten something and bring your blood glucose back down to a normal range. It takes the excess energy and stores it for later when you may be in famine. Read: It takes excess calories and stores them as fat for later.

-GLUCAGON: Also secreted by the pancreas. It’s job is to release the stored fat when your blood glucose drops bringing you back to normal levels. When people are eating a highly processed diet this little guy doesn’t get too work too often because Insulin is too busy trying to store all. the. time.

-DOPAMINE: This guy is in the brain. He’s your,”feel good” hormone. He’s the reason you like sex, sugar, flour and hydrogenated oils. When he likes something you are drowned in pleasure senses creating a Pavlovian response to doing it over and over. This is a survival mechanism built into YOU. As we evolved the tastes of salty, sweet, fatty meant safe sources of calories. Sweet was quick fuel (think apple), salty would keep us hydrated and electrolytes balanced, fatty (animal protein) meant a long, sustainable source of energy and protein.

Problem is, food companies KNOW that. Convenience foods provide all those flavors on a mega scale without any of the nutrition. You crave them (dopamine) and when you have some you can’t stop eating them because of…

-LEPTIN: Also in the brain. This hormone is responsible for your hunger/satiety. It operates on the premise of regulating your nutrients. When you need nutrients it works with other hormones to trigger hunger signals, when you’ve been nourished it signals fullness.

The problem is you eat Oreos. Oreos, sweet Oreos. They are sweet, they are fatty (dopamine) and when you have one, you can’t stop (leptin). You are receiving tons of energy (calories) when you eat the cookies but virtually NO nutrients. You are aggressively trying to store energy away for later with a LARGE amount of Insulin but Leptin is telling you you have not been fed because you’ve received no nutrition. So now you reach for pizza (salty/fatty) and eat into oblivion.

A human body is born with x amount of fat cells. This does not ever change unless you have liposuction. These cells with either inflate or deflate based on fat storage. When eating a diet high in processed foods insulin is working both the day and night shift trying to store all the calories you are eating. Unfortunately, many of these cells are already full and now insulin is FORCING them to store more. As with anything in the body that receives a great amount of force inflammation occurs within the cell. Eventually you see this as inflammatory markers or disease like high triglycerides, cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Not to mention, the huge spikes you are causing in your insulin secretion because more and more of it is needed to take care of the blood glucose. This is of course then followed by an extreme drop in blood sugar. You lose your sensitivity to how much needs to be secreted at one time and your body is prepared for the worst. Enter: Diabetes.

How do I stop that craziness?

The job of carbohydrate is to digest and turn to glucose quickly. It is our quick, explosive fuel source. However, fat and protein take much longer to digest. This is why they are more satiating. So, if we are to eat the three together (Protein/Fat/Carbohydrate) every time we eat, our digestion rate will slow substantially. What does this mean? It means less of a spike in your insulin. If this P/F/C is from nutrient dense, whole food sources the calories from this food will be providing all the nutrition we need without excess we don’t and Leptin can tell us to stop eating. We’re nourished. Eventually (15-30 days) our hormones can be back in working order. We are hungry so we eat a meal of protein, fat and carbohydrate. We digest. Our blood sugar rises to normal high levels. Insulin is secreted and stores excess energy for later. It’s 10:30 am and we’ve been up for 5 hours. Glucagon releases energy back into the system boosting blood glucose. We don’t notice a thing. At 12:30 we’ve been up for 7 hours and Leptin says we’re hungry again. We eat. Dopamine is happy. Insulin stores. Leptin says, “all good,” and we stop eating. 3:00 Glucagon helps us out releasing glucose back into the system. We have steady energy through the afternoon. We are hungry again by the evening and we eat. The respective parties work symbiotically and we fall asleep at the end of the day.

Eating for your GOALS and BODY TYPE

Your natural body type is a great indicator of how well you tolerate carbohydrates. The body types can be divided into 3 categories:

-ECTOMORPH: Long and lean, endurance type build. They have a hard time maintaining or gaining lean mass, they can eat everything and still stay, “skinny.” Think: marathoner.

-MESOMORPH: With a relatively clean diet these folks have an athletic build. Easily gain/maintain lean mass while keeping body fat levels in a normal, healthy range with a little dietary shift. Think: Soccer.

-ENDOMORPH: Built for comfort, not for speed. The least tolerable to carbohydrates. These folks have a large amount of muscle mass but easily gain a large amount of body fat as well. Think: Power Lifter.

Depending on your goals you will want to eat pertaining to your body type for ideal body composition. You can read an entire post about that  HERE.

I am still confused on what to eat and how to prep meals

I will be making Meal Templates and posting them this week per your body type to help get you started. If you have not yet checked out old posts on this blog do so. There are a MILLION recipe links. Also, the links to other pages on the right side will provide you with a ton of great resources.

Remember, if you cook something awesome post it to the FaceBook page for points. This is another wonderful resource to check out. Join the Defiance Wellness Team Challenge 2015 group.

When are Office Hours?

Office hours begins this week if you’re feeling like you need a little bit more clarity on your individual plan. Please sign up! You can log into ZenPlanner and reserve a time under, “Make Appointment.” I will be at DSC in Glenwood Monday 4:00-6:00 PM and Tuesday 7:00-9:00 AM. I will be at HCCF Wednesday 3:30-4:30 PM, 7:00-8:00 PM.

Keep up the great work! Make sure Team Captains submit points by 5:00 PM today and that all team members are paid by Monday, April 20th at 5:00 PM. Have a great Sunday!

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