Thoughts on nutrition:

It should not come as a shock that I am training for an Ironman. Maryland to be precise. Nutrition has been a focus of mine (for years) specifically because I have become increasingly hungry as we get closer to this race.

A way that I kick start my day is with H.V.M.N. Ketone-IQ™. Ketones are nature’s super fuel, proven to support energy, focus, endurance, and more! I use Ketone-IQ™️ as a daily supplement, just like my A, B, D, Zinc… etc. It contains no caffeine, no sugar—just energy from ketones, a source of fuel like glucose or fat. Ketones can be created naturally through fasting or eating a carb-restricted diet; however I choose to drink ketones directly. Elevated blood ketone levels are linked to several benefits, including mental clarity, athletic performance, recovery, and longevity. I enjoy taking Ketones because I feel more alert and focused during the day, but there are times where I struggle to maintain the ‘good eating habits’ through the remainder of the day.

Ketones are also supposed to tame the hunger hormone and help me feel fuller, for longer; but I am still consistently hungry. I guess biking for 80 miles will do that to you…

Anyway, this increased need for caloric consumption got me thinking. Generally, I was of the assumption that I was mistaking thirst for hunger; however…that belief is unproven! Being thirsty will affect cognitive and physical performance, leading you to crave nutrition as compensation for fatigue, but you’re not necessarily thirsty instead of being hungry. I’m still going to drink tons of water…but what about fooood.

Before I dive into being hungry (even after eating,) I need to ‘myth-bust’ a few fears Social Media has taught me about food:

  • MYTH: Binge-eating involves eating a lot of food in a short time until you’re past comfortable fullness.
    • Busted: Consuming more than you think is physically required, occasionally eating past satiety, and eating more than regular are NOT binge eating.
      • Incidental overeating is normal, like on special occasions. Sometimes we need to eat when we’re not hungry for practical reasons, like because we won’t have another chance to eat for a long time.
  • MYTH: Eating more than the average serving size of a food is wrong or shameful
    • Busted: If you feel that you need it, do it. Eating is not a moral question; it’s a physical requirement.
  • MYTH: Good foods to eat.
    • Busted: There’s no such thing as good or bad food.
      • All food has a particular nutritional composition and may help us reach satisfaction and well-being.
  • MYTH: Willpower around food intake.
    • You are not “stronger” if we eat with more rigidity. You might be ignoring hunger cues.
      • Everyone has a different genetic code, fitness level, body type, perceptions, and desires. There’s no scientific reason why you should eat the same amount or way someone else eats.

I have learned through training that my body (and mind) changes daily…sometimes hourly. But practically speaking, eating should change regularly.

I have been a proponent a protein shakes for years. I even had a business where I sold protein shakes (don’t worry; no advertisements for anything I’m selling.) While most people eat protein during lunches and dinners, they rarely add it to their snacks and breakfasts. I don’t think anyone will argue that protein powders are effective supplements, but lots of folks I have encountered say that protein powder isn’t ‘clean’ or ‘healthy.

There is no such thing as “healthy” or “clean” food. Some foods are more processed than others, but they’re not always healthier. For instance, unprocessed grains can contain an anti-nutrient that prohibits the digestion of some vitamins. And what is “clean” food, anyway? For example, most clean foodists add protein powder to their “clean” ingredients list. But protein powder is highly processed, often with chemicals in labs. Anyway, increased protein consumption leads to increased satiety and a reduction in overall calories. Scientists currently investigate the protein leverage theory, which states that our body doesn’t cue leptin until we eat enough protein.(11)

There’s a reason why I just got sciency… this leptin thing is intriguing. Too little sleep can lead to reduced levels of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for suppressing hunger. At the same time, inadequate sleep leads to an increase in the other “hunger hormone,” which stimulates my appetite. Lack of sleep is often associated with weight gain: people who sleep poorly also experience difficulty monitoring intake and controlling appetite impulses. This especially affects people during high-stress periods; little sleep and high stress are predictive of binge-like eating patterns.

I don’t know if the doctors who recommend getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night have been training for an Ironman, starting a new job, have three kids…but it can be stressful… and I am getting inconsistent amounts of sleep…so

In a world that rewards thinness, “healthy eating,” and exercise, it’s easy to believe that eating more than three Instagram-worthy meals and the occasional snack somehow equates to overeating or binge eating. Influencers flood social media with “what I eat in a day” posts, promoting unfair food and intake comparisons.  Media tells us about “good food” versus “bad food,” creating a sense of morality out of food choices.

Your body needs food, food has nutrition, and what someone else eats shouldn’t dictate what you eat. Period

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