• Monika

Random facts, thoughts and tips on nutrition part 1

​1. The higher the food quality, the better the psychological response will be during the digestive, absorptive, and nutrient delivery process.

Tip: Buy fresh foods that are local and/or organic if possible.

2. The process of chewing triggers the appearance of specific acids, mucus, enzymes and bile. Additionally, the longer the food stays in our mouth the more chances salivary enzymes have to help with the digestion of carbohydrates.

Tip: Chew your food, eat slowly and stop at 80% full.

3. Depending on the meal composition, it usually takes between 1 to 4 hours for your stomach to empty. Carbohydrates empty first, proteins second, and fiber and fats last. Are you hungry all the time?

Tip: To ensure that you are full longer, consume meals that have a combo of protein, veggies, fats and complex carbohydrates that will keep you satisfied, and prevent rapid insulin spikes.

4. Stress can impair digestive function (thus weight loss or gain) in many ways. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter activated during "fight or flight" situations to slow digestion and allow our body to deal with other priorities. Even though most stressful situations don't quite require the "fight or flight" response, they do provoke norepinephrine response and therefore chronically impair digestive function.

Tip: If you are under a lot of stress, consider learning how to meditate, join a yoga class, take your pooch for a walk, book a massage or a date with your best friend, and laugh your stress away.

5. Energy balance (i.e. calories in vs calories out) is a multi-factorial regulation process, more complex than a simple food vs. exercise relationship. Individual environmental factors, genetic factors, hormonal responses, digestive/absorptive capacity, influence this process. These many factors work subtly to influence how much you eat, how much you move, and how many calories your body requires during all activity.

Tip: Instead of beating yourself up over weight loss, recognize the fact that it is a complex process and it may take some time to figure out the best way to get it started and keep it moving in the right direction.

6. Increase in body mass can come in the form of either fat mass or lean mass. Most of us would prefer excess nutrients to be converted into lean mass instead of fat, however for this to occur, there must be a strong stimulus for protein gain. Exercise training, puberty, and pregnancy, all stimulate the gain of lean mass.

Tip: While trying to gain lean mass make you you don't overfeed beyond reasonable rates of muscle gain as this can begin to produce additional gains in fat mass as the extra calories can "spill over" into fat stores.

7. Better conditioned exercisers burn less energy to accomplish the same amount of work as beginners. They become more efficient at their exercise, and can do more work for the same energy cost. That's great if you're an athlete. If you're not however, you must continuously increase the intensity, duration and biomechanics inefficiency of your workouts in order to keep the rate of energy burning high.

Tip: Track your sets, reps, and weight. The last two reps of any given exercise should feel a lot more difficult than the first reps. If they are not, the weight is too light.

8. In humans protein is rarely stored as fat. While possible, it is not at all common in otherwise healthy individuals. If excess protein and calories are consumed, then less of the fat you eat gets oxidized, and instead gets stored.

Fat is the easiest macronutrient to store since no conversion is needed. In most cases of a hypercaloric intake, it is the fat you eat that is stored as bodyfat, while the body oxidizes the excess protein and/or carbs you consumed.

If you consume excess protein but your overall calorie intake meets your needs, then no extra protein, carbs or fat will be stored as fat.

Instead you will oxidize a bit more protein, and convert some of the extra protein to glucose and other things the body needs.

Tip: Make sure your diet is varied and comprises of a mixture of protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you have questions on what is the best nutritional composition for your body type, don't hesistate to contact me.