By Renee Castro

Food is often our answer to pleasure, boredom, gift giving and so much more. However, should this actually be our relationship with food? The matter of fact is that food is just fuel for our bodies, and what would happen if we actually treated it that way?

Viewing your food as fuel for your body, might just be the lifestyle you didn’t know your body was craving. By introducing your body to this diet, you might see things like weight loss, clearer skin and even more important to some, an increase in energy. Celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Vanessa Hudgens and Kourtney Kardashian said they stay active throughout the day by viewing their foods as fuel and nothing more. According to Insider, Smith said that she has stopped eating for pleasure and uses food as nourishment and fuel for her body.

Andrea Ramos of LIV Athletic in Gainesville, shared that food’s intention is to fuel the body, but at the same time you should be practicing balance while enjoying the food that you eat. It is important to find food that fuels your body with the nutrients it needs, while being sustainable as well, she said.

Focusing on lean proteins, vegetables, healthy carbs and reducing sugar are essential to staying in shape and remaining fueled for the entire day. However, the transition might not be as easy as you’d hope. Cutting sugar from your diet might have a phase of side effects and mood swings. In the long run, a diet that is lower in sugar and high in lean proteins and fueling food can help you sleep better at night, remember better and even improves your overall health.

According to Marta Ferraz Valles, Gainesville based dietician nutritionist, “we don’t want to eat foods that release glucose quickly like simple sugars or processed carbohydrates. Eating these foods will make our blood sugar increase fast and because of an overshoot in insulin, we will then see a fast decrease in blood sugars. We want to eat foods that are whole and contain fiber, so that they release glucose in a more normal rate and that last longer.” Eating brown rice is better for you than eating white rice!

We tend to make healthier food choices when we view food as fuel. However, it is important to be well-educated on food and nutrition because we may be more focused on calorie intake rather than the kinds of nutrients that are going in to our bodies, and in this lifestyle, that is what matters most. Although this lifestyle is more sustainable than its competing diets, it may not be suitable for everyone. Valles said some people may need to embrace their emotional connections with food. If you are struggling with weight and health, Valles suggests to see a dietician before altering your lifestyle.

In the end, we all have the same basic nutrition needs no matter what lifestyle we follow. We should be eating fruits and vegetables every day, as well as whole grains and healthy sources of protein. A healthy lifestyle all around can help us achieve long term results and may even turn our lives around for the better!