Quick – what’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say the word “Nutrition”? Does it trigger memories of complicated algebra equations as you think about Vitamins A, C, D, and B12? Or does it excite you as you think about the challenge of optimizing everything you eat? Or maybe, like I was, it really doesn’t do much of anything. You know it’s important and you know the basics, but you don’t spend much time thinking about the importance of nutrition.
If you’ve started Bright Line Eating, you know that the weight loss plan and maintenance plans are quite healthy already. After all, cutting out sugar and flour and adding in lots of fruits and veggies gets you about 80% of the way there. But on some of the finer points of nutrition, Bright Line Eating is fairly nutritionally agnostic (and wisely so). Their mission is to help people overcome food addiction and not debate omnivorous eating vs. vegetarianism or veganism.
So you can just follow the food plan and lose all of your excess weight without giving a thought to the importance of nutrition. And if the thought of learning more about nutrition adds stress to your life, don’t worry about it yet. You can always do that later when the time is right.
But if it’s not necessary, why take the time to learn more about the importance of nutrition?
Well, unlike exercise which can make it harder to lose weight, (see Stop Exercising to Lose Weight!), nutritional education may make it easier for you to lose weight.
So if you want to maximize your weight loss efforts, then read on.
#5 It can help your mood
You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat?” Well, it may be more true than we realize.
Research is finding more connections between what we eat and the affect it has on our mood. In fact there is a branch of medicine known as “nutritional psychiatry” which studies the link between how what you eat can influence how you feel mood wise.
This can be particularly important because losing weight may trigger or increase symptoms of anxiety and depression. That was certainly my experience at the beginning. After all, weight loss places significant stress on the body both physically and emotionally. So knowing what foods to eat to help combat this can be helpful.
For example, some studies have shown that saffron and curcumin may be as effective in treating depression as the prescription drug Prozac. And as someone with a history of anxiety and depression, I can confirm that your mood can play a big role in your ability to keep your bright lines. So if tweaking my diet can help improve my mood, I’ll take every advantage I can get.
#4: It can help you build healthy habits faster.
Learning more about nutrition during the weight loss phase is kind of like painting your house before you move in. Sure, you can paint after you move in. But that requires more time and effort. It’s much easier to paint an empty house than need to keep moving furniture as you go.
By taking the time to learn more about the importance of nutrition early on, you’ll be able to more integrate healthy habits more easily and earlier in your weight loss journey. You could wait and adjust things during the maintenance phase. But that may end up requiring more time and effort than just establishing some healthy habits as you go.
#3: It can help prevent sickness and disease
We’ve all know the importance of nutrition in prevent sickness and disease, but we often don’t think about it until we actually become sick.
And then, we lack the energy or focus to really do anything about it. That’s why prevention is always the better choice.
According to some research, a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of catching that run of the mill bug or virus that everyone is sharing. I can attest that our family of 7 had significantly fewer incidents of illness this past winter. And when someone did get a cold, it wasn’t as severe and it ran its course more quickly. Nutritionally sound eating has certainly helped shore up our immune systems and reduce our vulnerability to many illnesses.
And of course, when we see how better nutrition helps us feel and function on a day-to-day basis, it’s not a stretch to see how it can prevent things down the road. Research is overwhelmingly finding that a healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of many chronic and life-threatening diseases.
And I certainly “knew” that before studying the importance of nutrition. But what I didn’t know is just how much of a difference nutrition can make in preventing chronic disease. Nor did I know what foods to eat to reduce my risk of the specific chronic diseases that run in my family.
#2: It can boost your energy
Because weight loss is hard work, you may feel quite tired and drained of energy. But knowing what to eat can help boost your energy and make it easier to keep your bright lines.
(For example, here’s a list of 27 Foods that Can Give Your More Energy.)
So learn more about the importance of nutrition and experiment yourself. Discover which foods you like give you more energy throughout the day.
Keep in mind that at the beginning of your weight loss journey you may not find any foods that give you extra energy. The weight loss process may just be too exhausting. So instead, focus on which foods leave you feeling less exhausted throughout the day. Because even feeling just a bit less exhausted can make a big difference when you’re trying to stick to your bright lines.
#1: It Can Help You Stay Motivated to Lose Weight
For me this is the biggest reason to learn more about the importance of nutrition.
If you’re like me, eating the large amount of fruits and veggies required on the Bright Line Eating plan can be very challenging at the beginning. Especially when you’ve spent most of your life avoiding the produce aisle. But educating myself on all of the benefits of eating specific fruits and vegetables was hugely motivating.
So shortly after starting Bright Line Eating, I decided to learn more about nutrition. Not just the list of benefits each vitamin or mineral provided, but how they worked together to become even more beneficial. This was so helpful when I was having a hard time eating the big salad at dinner each night. I didn’t like the taste and I was having a hard time consuming such a large amount of vegetables.
But reviewing all of the health benefits of what I was eating helped keep me motivated to keep pushing on.
Besides just the weight loss, I was able to envision all of the internal changes I couldn’t see. And I was able to think about all of the health complications I may be avoiding. And the education process itself helped keep my mind more focused on healthy foods and less obsessed with the unhealthy foods I was avoiding.
nutritional education mostly came from reading books, watching YouTube videos, and listening to podcasts. But the best thing I did was to participate in the free Food Revolution Summit. There were tons of speakers on health and nutrition that kept me motivated. And there was just a general sense of excitement and energy around the summit that I found motivating and energizing.
So How About You?
Could you use a little extra motivation in your Bright Line Eating journey?
Would you like your mind to think less about those unhealthy foods you may be craving?
Do you think it would be easier to lose weight if your mood and energy level were a good deal better?
If so, adding in some extra learning about the importance of nutrition may be just your recipe for success.