It is so extraordinary how evolved our bodies are, what they are capable of, and how they carry on despite all the manipulating that we do to them! One of the topics that I believe is key to address in almost all scenarios that involve giving nutrition advice is how important it is that we satisfy our appetite when we eat. If we do not, our body has a funny way of tricking us into it anyway!
So basically, a well rounded diet consists of ALL three macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). There are also certain proportions of these nutrients that are ideal, although what those proportions are create constant havoc in the general population because of all the claims by various fad diet creators. To be fair, evolving research sometimes dictates slight modifications for certain populations, however in general the proportions advocated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org) stay pretty much the same and are as follows:
Carbohydrates – 50-55% of total calories
Protein – 15-20% of total calories
Fat – 25% of total calories
Now the crazy thing that generally happens when we try to deviate too drastically from these proportions in our daily diet is that we have… CRAVINGS! So, when we try to cut the fat out of our diet, we crave high fat foods! When we try to cut the carbs out, we crave high carb foods! And yes, when we cut the protein too low, we will crave high protein foods. So again we come back to our theme which is to make moderate changes! Our body needs all those macronutrients, and it will mess with your head until you get them!
Now another funny thing about our body and food choices is our desire for certain textures, colors, and flavors in our foods, in order to truly be satisfied at the end of a meal. For example: At dinner tonight you get all the calories that your body needs to be satisfied when you are served (because you surely would not choose this of your own free will) boiled chicken with dumplings, cream corn, applesauce, and some milk.
Ugghh, besides the fact that it sounds perfectly disgusting to me, it also has no variety in texture or color. There is nothing chewy, or crunchy, or green, blue, red, or orange! So even though the calories may be there, it is highly likely that you will walk away from that meal craving…something.
Although that was just one example, the same concept holds true when we try to drink all, or most, of our meals. We may find that we end up nibbling on extra calories in order to satisfy that need to chew something.
So the moral of this story is to eat foods that you like, because if you don’t, eventually you will, and all the unhappiness was for nothing anyway! GO FOOD! YEA!