We’ve all heard the expression “everything in moderation” before. It sounds great because it sounds like a nice balance of control and effect. Unfortunately, it’s an unscientific statement that helps people who don’t know anything about anything sound like they know something about something.
The term “everything in moderation” is mostly used for dieting, but we’ll go into some small examples of it used outside of dieting.
Not Everything is Created Equal
How can we eat “everything in moderation” if the macronutrients we consume play different roles? That’s like saying we need to fill up the fluids in our car in moderation. “Don’t put too much gas or oil, just in moderation with the brake fluid and wiper fluid!”. Obviously that statement sounds stupid because we know car fluids play specific roles in our car and we need to manage them according to their uses.
We don’t change brake fluid as much as we change the oil. Same with gasoline and windshield fluid. Fluids in our car play a specific role that are each important in their own way. Some fluids are more important than others, while other fluids need a lot less maintenance and can be forgotten about for a very long time.
For example, if we don’t fill up on gas, our car won’t run, but if we don’t have wiper fluid, it isn’t the end of the world. Therefore one is more urgent and important than the other. Food is exactly the same. Many of us grew up with the calorie theory about food. Calories are calories, right? Not exactly.
Fat, protein and carbohydrates all preform different tasks in the body. Protein for repairs and growth, fats for hormones and immune system and carbohydrates for energy.
Our body has no mechanism to store fat and protein (effectively). If you over eat fat or protein, you’ll most likely stay full for a very, very long time or just throw up. If you eat too much fast acting carbohydrates however, your body will need to do something about it because your body converts carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) and uses it for energy. Any extra glucose in your bloodstream is dangerous and your body has to get rid of it. The mechanism our body has for this extra glucose (energy) in our blood stream is to take out what it can’t use and store it for later.
When we eat too much simple carbohydrates (bread, cereal grains, pasta, potatoes, soda, etc), it’s dumped into our blood stream rapidly and now our body has to do something about it. Some people will bounce off the walls. Our body will boost us into an accelerated state of energy. Whether your leg is bouncing under the table or you can’t sleep at night. It will manifest one way or another. The rest, whatever can’t be used will be stores for later use.
Without going into too much boring stuff, that’s the gist of it. If we considered all fluid in our car the same, it wouldn’t work out. Let’s leep that in mind for our body as well. Not all macronutrients play the same role so we can’t moderate them all the same. The one macronutrients responsible for energy usage and storage are carbohydrates. If we can effectively eat the right ones and manage them to our tolerance, we’ll be able to manage our weight well.
Al you need is a dime and a plan of execution. Good luck all!