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Food Is Fuel

Do you want to know the number one difference between fat people and healthy-fit people? It’s not activity, testosterone, or laziness. It is their view of food.

Without exception, every single person that I know who is fit views food primarily as fuel for their body. And without exception, every fat person that I know views food either as an indulgence, a comfort item, or something that they love to eat.

This distinction goes a long way to explaining and understanding why people eat what they do, and why. I once had a meeting with a personal trainer who asked if we could leave the coffee shop and go to his house because he was behind on a meal. The meal he cooked? Two eggs fried in a non-stick pan with only a splash of water. In his eyes, he needed the protein from those eggs to fuel the machine that was his body. This is not a person who is going to order pizza and chicken wings late at night because he’s bored.

By contrast, I will often order up a pizza after a hard night, or perhaps as a way to congratulate myself for something that I did during the day. The result is dramatically different body types. Despite being very active, I carry a spare tire big enough for a Mack truck around my center-section, while he celebrates incredibly low body fat.

This distinction translates into every action that we have with food in our lives. People like me purchase cook books which have great recipes in them and ask ourselves questions such as “What will I make for the dinner party on Saturday night?” while people like the personal trainer do research into foods that have low glycemic indexes and contain the most body-building protein.

The people that we see in the media – the models and actors – have professional dieticians and personal chefs creating their meals for them. But, contrary to popular belief, those chefs are not creating the tasty dishes that we see on The Food Network. Rather, they are looking for ways to add more protein to a diet, to remove simple carbohydrates, and to maximize fat-burning. Increasingly, the super-fit people that we see on the street are also incorporating these changes into their daily lives.

There is room for moderation and balance – but the simpler method is to limit what you can eat and when. When you eat the same meal six nights a week, as many of the Food is Fuel people do, there is no room for pizza on Thursday night. That means they never need to worry about how many slices to grab, how much soda to drink with it, or how long they’ll have to run to burn it off. They have removed variety from their diets for the pay off of fitness.

If you’re looking for a weight-loss diet, consider avoiding the big programs and fad diets. Instead, focus on Food as Fuel. If you can break the psychological connection you have with food, your results will be amazing.