Balance hormones

Want to be fit? Keep it simple, keep it real

I don’t have a sweet tooth, I have a fat tooth. I don’t buy chicken breasts, I prefer the thighs. I eat a whole avocado, whole eggs, and bacon almost every day. I eat a handful of nuts with breakfast and again for snacks. If I consume dairy it’s the full fat variety. I’ve maintained these dietary habits for over five years, and no, I don’t exercise every day and I don’t count calories. My body fat percentage averages 10% or lower and my overall cholesterol has remained below 160. Am I one of those jerks blessed with ideal body type and a high metabolism? Nope, I used to weigh 220 lbs. (I dropped to 175 lbs. five years ago) and I’m only 5’11”.

What changed?

When I feel active I do something sweaty. When I’m hungry I eat. I keep it simple, but that doesn’t make it easy. Exercise gives me a 20% edge. The remaining 80% effort is in my nutrition and fat is a primary factor. Research human biology and we may be surprised how dependent our chemical processes are on fats. This is the daily fuel our engines require to stay alive and many nutrients cannot be absorbed and hormones produced without fat. Why would we want to restrict our natural energy source? Please don’t use this as an excuse to coat everything in butter. Let’s keep it real, i.e. all natural.

Chemical dependence

Every time we see the phrases “fat free” or “low fat”, let’s replace it with “chemical $h!t storm”. It takes a lot of additives and processes to remove naturally occurring fat from our food and even more to keep them resembling something edible. By products are rampant. Nonfat categories of dairy products contain oxidized cholesterol (a carcinogen) and many baked goods rely on hydrogenation which produces trans fats to retain texture and shelf life. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Would nature deliberately alter one of our food sources to slowly poison our bodies?

When we consume naturally occurring dietary fats our bodies use them effectively. Modified variations send our systems into panic as it fights to manage the toxins. This energy needs to be reserved for essential processes that become neglected while other areas such as our livers are strained. Over time this can lead to chronic diseases.

Good or bad

Most fats loved by our bodies are fatty acids, which we know as omega-3 and omega-6. Digesting them in their natural state, e.g. raw nuts, cold olive oil, and fatty fish, keeps our bodies happy. Most of us maintain adequate, if not high, levels of omega-6, but omega-3 is essential and often deficient. Real food is preferred but supplementation with fish or flax oil will bridge the gap. Excluding oil extraction, altered fats should be avoided. Even the heating of oil can cause fractionation which reduces the bioavailability and generates byproducts. This may seem an excessive amount of calories; however quality fats increase satiation so we eat less in the long run.

Keep it simple, keep it real, and let it be fatty. Have a favorite food or curious about a recommendation? Take 60 seconds to research it and don’t believe anything on the label except the ingredient list. Monitor how you feel, how you look, and what your doctor says. Cheers to a “fat” life.

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About Adam Maielua

Lead Instructor at The Body Lab and Partner at UltraFit Systems.“I am a heretic; a fool that stands out in the status quo. I am a person intentionally trying to upset certain groups of individuals in an effort to change what is into something else, something powerful and fun. Health and wellness is my passion, my addiction; I don’t feel right without it. But that’s just me, and it’s not my goal to push people to my level of compulsion, just to share some of my enthusiasm and hope that others will benefit.”

One thought on “Want to be fit? Keep it simple, keep it real

  1. Steve Perez

    Adam,

    After reading your article I remembered a time in my life when I weighed 195 lbs. I’m 5′-9″….well ok 5′-8″. On November 1st, 2008 I tore my ACL, fractured my tibial plateau, the tip of my fibula broke off and coiled up on the side of my leg with my LCL. Let’s just say I couldn’t walk. So rather than indulge in ice cream sandwiches, I pretty much followed the same eating pattern as you have written above to the tee.

    Long story short, by the time I was allowed to walk on January 15th, 2009 I weighed 180 lbs. It didn’t occur to me the lesson I learned, first and foremost not to play tackle football with 14 yr olds, but eating habits IS 80% of the effort of staying in shape and/or getting in shape.

    Just to add to my story, I started Crossfit on 6 weeks later on March 1st, 2009. My WOD’s were modified of course, but with the nutrition in my pocket (I didn’t know I was following Paleo btw) and now disciplining myself Crossfit, I went down to 155 lbs August 2009.

    Today I weigh 170 lbs comfortably and don’t work out as much as I should, but I maintained the healthy eating habits. I run 2 times a week and lift weights weekly. I look at that time in my life as an awakening of nutrition and fitness awareness in my life. I am amazed of what my mind and body were capable of achieving at the time I was disabled.

    Steve Perez

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