“Ohhhhh, so this is why I didn’t major in anything that involved science…” – Me reading the first chapter of my nutrition course
Hi Three to Five Tribe! As many of you know, I recently began an online nutrition course through Precision Nutrition so I can become a Nutrition Professional and work with individuals to lead healthier and happier lives. Well, I am proud to say I am half way through my course and have wrapped up the first unit consisting of ten chapters all about nutritional science. I only have one more unit to go with eight chapters left until I am officially certified at the PN1 Level! Here is what I have learned so far:
- Cell structure and function
- Food intake, digestion, and absorption
- Energy transformation and metabolism
- Energy balance in the body
- Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism
- Water and fluid balance within the human body
- Special needs in nutrition for athletes, those with injuries going through rehabilitation, plant-based dieters, disordered eating, diabetics, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and pregnancy. Disclaimer: After this course I will in no capacity be giving Medical Nutrition Therapy (MDT) as I am not a medical professional. #dontsueme However, I now have some general knowledge on various medical conditions and the role nutrition plays in each of them.
So What Does This Mean?
Well, unless you are like me and totally start to geek out when you revisit cell structure and function for the first time since your fifth grade science course, probably nothing. Therefore, I have compiled a list of a few interesting points that I have learned from the aforementioned chapters that may help you to better understand nutrition and the role it plays within your own life:
- Food affects our health in four ways: it provides energy, it effects metabolism, it is incorporated into our body structure (ahem, you are what you eat), and it influences chemicals within our body such as hormones. Ever wonder why you feel like crap when you eat crap? Well, there you go!
- Humans eat food, not nutrients. (That is why the quality of the food we eat is so important people!) Our physiological response to food (aka how the body functions from the food we eat) depends on the unique combination of nutrients present in that food. #eatgoodfeelgood
- Our digestive system is around 25 feet long and the entire digestive process takes about 18-72 hours depending on the individual. Remember, every body and everybody is different.
- The body has the ability to make twelve of the nonessential amino acids, however, eight essential amino acids can only be supplied by the diet. This is why protein dense food sources like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and legumes are important to a healthy diet.
- When you eat whole, naturally occurring foods, your appetite closely matches your energy expenditure. However, when the diet consists of synthetic food products, it negates the ability of humans to regulate their intake via appetite cues. Translation: Eating fake foods f*cks up your body’s awesome ability to know what it needs and when to stop eating it.
- Your body needs energy for everything! Here are some detailed examples: Your body needs energy to just, well, be a body! This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You also need energy when you are resting, this is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Digestion, absorption and assimilation of food and nutrients even require energy, this is known as Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF). Exercise requires energy (obvi) and even non-exercise activity like walking to and from work or moving around the office, this is known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).
- On average, individuals experience a 2-4% decline in their resting metabolic rate with each passing decade after the age of 25 aka your metabolism slows down starting at age 25. #thatblows You also lose on average 5lbs. of lean muscle mass each decade after the age of 25. The only way to reduce this decline is through exercise training and nutritional intake. Some of the best ways to do this is through intense exercise. Think resistance training, strength training with free weights or even your own body weight, interval training, running, rock climbing, rowing, cycling, circuit training, jumping rope, running hills, squats, lunges, plyometrics, explosive medicine ball work, explosive kettle bell exercises and any high intensity interval training (HIIT). Don’t know what some of these are? #Google My personal favs: resistance training with body weight, running, kettle bells, med balls and HIIT.
- Macronutrients are major nutrient groups that significantly influence our energy levels, our ability to do work, our recovery from physical activity, how we fight disease, our body composition, and much more. What’s a macro? Carbohydrates, protein and fat. Again, think quality people! For example, eat fat, but good fat. What’s good fat? Here. Read.
- Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals the body needs in small amounts, hence micro. Although minor, these little dudes can have major effects on your body if you do not get enough of them. #buyamultivitamin just in case.
- Water makes up nearly 60% of bodyweight so avoid dehydration and drink up b*tches. Fine Print: You can over hydrate, which is known as hyponatremia, which I have done, so play it safe and follow this rule: Take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two. This is the amount of water in fluid ounces you should be drinking per day.
- Bonus: Type II Diabetes is a lifestyle relateable disease and is almost always preventable through the choices we make each day. (Ahem, three to five meals a day, three to five opportunities, just saying!)
I look forward to finishing the second unit of my course, which will be discussing Nutritional Application and how I can use what I have learned to coach individuals. Now the real question is who wants to be coached…any takers? Contact me and let me know!
10 chapters down…
8 chapters to go…
1 certification away from my dream…