Everyone has heard the term “you are what you eat.” The statement implies that what you put into your body is what you will get out of it and have an affect on your appearance and health. To put it bluntly: healthy foods make you healthy, while unhealthy foods make you unhealthy. As an 18 year old girl who lives with many other kids my age around me 24/7, I have started to question this statement even though I have been hearing it all my life. There are both girls and boys who eat the worst foods possible everyday and are still very fit and have not gained weight due to their unhealthy eating habits. What is the reasoning behind this? Could it be because they have a better metabolism than others? Or were they gifted with genes that gave them the body type that looks lean no matter what they put into their bodies?
Complete Human Performance suggests the best way to test this would be to have a strong control on a group of people when it came to what they ate and how much they exercised. Specifically how many calories were in their meals and what affect it had on their weight. It is easiest to compare results when the test subjects are as similar as possible when it comes to age, gender, and other factors such as their overall health. Then, the calorie intake of each person is the same, in order to be able to compare the results. If one person is losing weight consistently, while another is maintaining their weight or gaining weight, it becomes clear that for the person losing weight, there is another factor stronger than the weight gain. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, my next question was: could this be based on the individual’s metabolism?
The answer to this question was found easily and is no. One’s metabolism is referred to often when talking about one’s weight but does not account for much of it. The best way to loose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. It is true that some have genes that help them stay skinny, while others have genes that are not preventative when it comes to weight gain, but the best way to stay healthy is to find a caloric intake that is best for you.
In addition, a study done in 1921, called “The Longevity Project” 1500+ Americans started being followed by researchers interested in what makes a human healthy. They began to test the question of what the ideal diet and day to day lifestyle for us was. The project shed light on other aspects of life that proved there is a lot more to someone than what they eat. What you do and how you behave plays a major role in one’s health and everything is different.