The Effects of Eating: The Bad Stuff
Let's start off by saying I'm not a nutritionist; however, I am interested in food and how it effects my body. I want to be able to perform when I have to and look good doing it. For the past few weeks what I've been eating would be considered less than optimal. Eating this way has proven to me just how much food effects our bodies and perfomance.
A lot of experts — and a lot more "experts" — have opinions about what we should be eating and when we should eat it. Sorting through what information is good and what's not isn't something I'd wish on my worst enemy. That being said, here's what I've found through a little self-experimentation.
First, a list of the foods I consumed regularly last month:
- Fast food and chain restaurant burgers & fries
- potato chips (good luck finding a small bag at most grocery chains or corner stores)
- Food truck lunches
- Microwave dinners
- Ice cream
This type of diet isn't much of a stretch from what the average person is eating.
No doubt some of you are thinking, "Ha! I have a salad for lunch every day at work. That's healthy. Stickel, you are off your rocker."
News flash guys, it doesn't matter how many salads you have, they aren't healthy when you smother 'em with dressing.
Enough back story, let's get to the meat of the matter. These are a few of the things I noticed after eating the way I was:
- it was harder to fall asleep at night & the quality of sleep was poor (waking up several times)
- trips to the bathroom were not fun (courtesy flush required)
- I gained 10 pounds & my stomach started sticking out
- my energy level was low (making me want more takeout)
- acne started breaking out on my face & upper back (hello ladies)
The moral of the story
When I was eating healthy food I didn't experience any of the effects listed above. I slept through the night and felt refreshed in the morning. My energy level was fairly high and I was productive. My skin was a lot clearer and I didn't have to suck in my stomach when I was chatting with the ladies.
It's been repeated ad naseum, food is fuel. The longer you feed your body crap the worse you're going to feel. Want to feel better? Stay away from packaged, mass-produced, heavily processed food.
If you're tired of sucking in your gut trying to get a date, eat real, whole foods like:
- meat (pasture raised & grass fed if possible)
- wild caught fish
- organic vegetables and fruit (go to the farmers market or join a CSA)
- if your body can tolerate it, a serving of whole grains (not multi-grain)
- a handful or two of nuts and dried berries (homemade trail mix, packaged mix has too much sugar & additives)
Believe me, it's a lot easier having a flat stomach than holding it in all night.