Image Credit: ©Gulf News

We live in a time and place where food is available to us in great abundance, we eat more than ever before. We have giant supermarkets that provide products from all corners of the world in any season. Our fridges are full and our pantries are stocked, yet our bodies are starving. Nutritionally that is.

The world tries to educate us about the importance of exercise. They say it’s the solution to a healthy body. But that is only part of it. A very small part of it. No amount of exercise can eliminate the damage that a bad diet does.

‘But I eat relatively healthy’

Here’s where you might be thinking to yourself that your diet isn’t so bad. But ponder about it for a little bit. Do you know exactly what your food is made of? Because these days, we don’t really eat food anymore. Instead we eat food-like products. Items that are made to look like food and smell like food but they last longer and taste better and are also cheaper.

Brown Cone With White Sprinkled Icing

An example of food loaded with sugar, fat and preservatives

These food-like products are made with substances like Fructose Corn Syrup, MSG and other difficult-to-pronounce ingredients that actually shouldn’t even be entering our bodies. So the ‘healthy’ cereal you have for breakfast, or the ‘sugar-free’ granola bar you treat yourself with as a snack, are all things that should not be allowed into our bodies. They may be low in calories, but they are also very low in nutritional value.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at least 2.8 million people die every year for being overweight or obese. The worldwide prevalence of obesity has more than doubled between 1980 and 2014, with 13 per cent of the world’s adult population alone found to be obese last year. That is a whopping 9.7 million people who are more than just plump.

Starving on a nutritional level

You could eat 10,000 calories a day and you can feel full and satisfied temporarily. But if you aren’t getting the specific nutrients that your body needs in these 10,000 calories, then you are starving nutritionally. Manmade foods trick your body into thinking that you are getting what you need, because you get up feeling full and satisfied, but your cells do not get nourished.

Our bodies aren’t getting enough vitamins and nutrients, so we keep eating and eating because something is missing. Instead of filling our cells with the nutrients they need, we store these calories in our bodies in the form of fat. Our body is scientifically programmed to store fat. 

Carrots Tomatoes Vegetables and Other Fruits

An example of a healthy palaeo stone age diet

When humans lived in the Stone Age, animal fat and proteins were rare to come across, therefore it was part of our survival instinct to eat fat and to store it for the winter months. In the past, people spent hours hunting and gathering berries and nuts. All the chemical free food they ate never made them sick or unhealthy. On the contrary, the body holding on to fat is what kept them alive.

Today, most of us thankfully live indoors. We don’t actually have a winter to prepare for anymore. We don’t need to store excess fat under our skin and around our organs to keep us warm. So what happens when the winter never comes? The fat stays exactly where it is. These days, modern societies have so many calorie sources and the signal for our bodies to store fat is still the same. We can get everything at supermarkets.

We consume a high amount of calories that provide us with a low amount of nutrition. We fill our kitchens with white bread, cornflakes, chocolate, cooking cream, canned tomato paste, potato chips, frozen vegetables, ice cream and processed tuna with no expiration date.

While other ‘less modern’ countries, grow vegetables in their gardens without any pesticides or to buy milk from the neighbour’s cow. They eat organic eggs without the price hike or the Zen brand name. They have a diet with high nutritional value that is also lower in calories and chemicals.

aubergines, bio, cabbage

Vegetables contain low amounts of calories and high amounts of nutrients

Looking good

These days hundreds of initiatives encourage us to download apps that help us get off the couch and work out. Trainers push us hard. We go for runs and take part in classes. These are all fantastic initiatives, but the first step is to get your eating under control. People want to look good. We want a fast solution. We want a superficial result. Sometimes we don’t consider that looking good needs to be done from the inside out.

appetizer, avocado, bread

Start from the inside out by eating healthy, whole foods with good fats and low preservatives

We need to stop the processed things. Eat as whole as possible, this means that you need to think like how the first humans on earth used to eat. Food and produce with minimal added ingredients.

Salmon, almonds, blueberries, avocados, spinach and sweet potatoes are some of my favourites. People can argue that eating clean is expensive. If you are willing to spend money on rent and clothes and cars, then you should be able to invest in the only home you will ever have — your body. Spend money to buy good quality food, then put those trainers on.