Nutrition for Spiritual Growth
Nutrition is a Key Factor in Spiritual Growth
Now that you have changed your mindset to starting (or modifying) your exercise program, you will need to feed yourself accordingly. For example, you would not put regular/leaded gas in a sports car because a high-performance vehicle requires energy that burns cleanly and efficiently. By this same standard, you must feed your body with more nutrient dense (high nutrition content per calorie) foods as you begin to increase your physical health. Also, by eating more nutritious food such as vegetables, lean white meats, legumes, and fruits, you will not need to eat as many calories to become satiated (full), which is great for getting in shape. When you are on a restricted calorie diet (as opposed to a “see-food” diet), you must pay very close attention to the nutrient content of your food. The fewer calories you consume, the more critical it is that the calories you do consume are comprised of mostly healthy choices.
Fast food is generally a bad idea, although most fast food restaurants at least offer healthier alternatives to their “dollar menu” items. On average, meals that consist of vegetables and lean protein are going to be better for you and contain fewer calories than a fast food hamburger with fries or a combination burrito with a soda. Not only is fast food high in calories, but also it is typically low in nutrients. This is part of the reason why you’re hungry too soon after eating a large meal from a fast food restaurant.
How Often to Eat
There are volumes of books written about proper diet and meal preparation, so let us instead have a brief discussion about how often to eat. Although everybody is unique, there is little evidence to support the three-meal-a-day routine that we have been taught since we were children. Ultimately, you want to feed your body regularly throughout the day. By eating the standard three-meal diet, your body can become confused and shift into a state of starvation. If you feel “starved” by the time your next meal comes around, you will know that it has been too long since your last meal or snack. Eating so infrequently can condition your body to store the energy (calories) in your fat cells for safe keeping as opposed to burning them off (as with those who are referred to as having a fast metabolism).
Unfortunately, not all excess nutrients are stored in our bodies with the same ease as excess fat. Your body will use only those nutrients it needs at the moment and excrete the rest as waste. Even though you may have eaten enough calories for an entire day in one meal, you may again feel hungry within a short period due to your body’s lack of available nutrients. Because stored body fat is low in nutrients, your body will enter a state of catabolism and begin breaking down your lean body mass to get the energy it needs. While this state of catabolism is perfectly normal in moderation, it will lead to major health problems if left unbalanced.
If we were all perfect human machines with no outside responsibilities to distract us, we would feed ourselves in small snacks throughout the day every few hours. Although this may be contrary to how you have been eating up until this point in your life, it is never too late to make the necessary improvements. With a couple of minor changes to your daily habits, your body will be on its way to becoming a well-oiled machine. Eating small frequent meals will not only help you feel better, it will also help to speed up your metabolism so that the calories you do consume are burned more quickly and efficiently. With your metabolism primed and your muscles raring to go, you will be able to reverse some of your old habits and initiate an internal state which enables you to get the most out of life both physically and spiritually.
Nutrition for Spiritual Growth
When you feel well you think well. And when you think well, you will be in a better position to grip the wheel of life and steer yourself in any direction you wish to travel with the wind at your back.