The science of nutrition can be confusing. Yet, over time, so many studies get done on certain topics that we can determine just which areas of nutrition aren’t open for debate anymore.
If your desire is to lose weight, lift more, run faster, live longer, etc., you need solid science you can count on. That’s what we are going to deliver to you in this post!
5 Indisputable Laws of The Science of Nutrition
The science of nutrition has yielded 5 indisputable laws that have emerged over the years, as major studies have been completed, re-visited, and eventually meta-analyzed… and when ALL of the evidence agrees, for a long period of time, we can then call the results indisputable.
So based on a plethora of data, these are the 5 indisputable laws of health we know we can rely on!
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Nutrition Science Law Number One:
C.I.C.O. – Calories In, Calories Out.
This one is interesting because we have all had days or weeks when our weight loss fluctuations don’t seem to make sense.
For example, we start a diet, drastically reduce calories, and a week later… what! Weight gain! Weird!
However, over the long haul, this equation may fluctuate on a personal level, but over the years it will always play out.
Like gravity, this principle is easy to test. With gravity, you can continually release a heavy object. No matter how many times you try it, the object falls.
Similarly, reducing “energy in” and increasing “energy out” would always result in one’s body weight going down, eventually. This has been observed repeatedly over the course of years.
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred from one state to another.
Humans can’t create energy from nothing, but we can convert it from food. Any excess energy we take in doesn’t just disappear, but is either used up as “energy out” or stored by the body.
People often argue that not all calories are created equal, and that is DEFINITELY true, however, whether the calories come from a chocolate bar or an apple… in the end they are both turned into energy by the body.
The energy balance equation has been a scientific law for over a century and is as close to a fact as we can get.
Though it’s possible that scientific laws may be updated and improved over time, this law has stood the test of time and remained unchanged for many years.
So if you want good health, you MUST pay attention to your calorie intake and expenditure.
Nutrition Science Law Number Two:
Protein Is The Most Vital Macro-nutrient To Get Right.
When it comes to fitness and health, one of the most important things to consider is protein intake. Protein is a vital macro nutrient that plays an essential role in muscle growth and repair, which is why it’s critical to ensure adequate protein consumption for anyone looking to improve athletic performance or achieve an ideal body weight.
For many, many people, cutting back on processed carbs, and increasing healthy proteins, is an essential step in their health journey.
Here’s why protein is so critical:
- Muscle Growth And Repair:
Protein is an essential building block for muscle growth and repair. When you engage in any form of exercise, you are creating tiny tears in your muscles, which require protein intake to repair and grow. Protein consumption will allow your muscles to recover faster and come back stronger than before, ultimately resulting in muscle hypertrophy.
- Weight Loss:
Protein is incredibly filling, and consuming it can help keep you full for longer periods, leading to fewer cravings and ultimately, weight loss. Protein in the form of lean meat, eggs, dairy, or plant-based protein sources such as beans, nuts, and seeds will help you avoid overeating while aiding in weight loss.
- General Well-being:
Not only is protein essential for muscle growth and repair, but it is also crucial for overall well-being. Protein helps support a healthy immune system, keeps hair, skin, and bones healthy, and helps fight off diseases.
- Exercise Recovery:
The recovery process after a workout is just as crucial as the exercise itself. Consuming protein before and after exercise can significantly speed up the recovery process. Adequate protein consumption post-exercise will also help reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle functioning.
- Maximizing Athletic Performance:
Protein plays a vital role in maximizing athletic performance. Consuming protein in the right quantities and at the right times can help improve endurance, increase strength, and enhance overall performance when working out. The optimal amount of protein varies from person to person, but generally speaking, 0.8-1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the recommended daily intake.
It’s clear from the research that protein is the most critical macro-nutrient for anyone seeking to improve athletic performance and achieve an ideal body weight.
Ultimately, make sure to include protein sources in your daily meals and snacks, and don’t neglect the importance of timing your protein intake during or after your workouts for maximum benefits.
Note that amino acids make up proteins, and supplementing with both protein powders and amino acids can help to ensure you get enough high quality protein daily.
Nutrition Science Law Number Three:
Humans Are Healthiest When They Eat Whole Foods. The More Processed Foods We Eat, The Less Healthy We Will Be.
Food is one of the most essential requirements of human life. What we consume has a direct impact on our health and overall fitness.
For millennia, humans had no choice but to eat whole foods directly from farms, forests, and jungles. Our bodies are adapted to them.
Whole foods are natural, nutrient-dense foods that are minimally processed, and provide the body with essential nutrients.
Unfortunately, modern-day lifestyle is all about consuming processed and fast food, which is directly affecting our well-being, and not in a good way.
The nutritional science is clear on this, if we want to achieve our ideal body weight and performance, our diet has to be based on whole foods, and a minimum of processed foods.
Whole foods are nutrient-dense and provide the body with all the essential nutrients required for growth and development. Unlike processed foods, whole foods have a high concentration of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are essential for optimal health.
Whole foods not only provide the body with macro-nutrients, but also micro-nutrients, which are crucial for maintaining good health.
- Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases:
A diet rich in whole foods has been linked with a lower risk of chronic diseases. Processed foods are high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt, which are linked to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, whole foods are rich in nutrients that are known to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Improved Digestion:
Whole foods are rich in fiber, which plays a crucial role in maintaining good digestive health. Fiber helps keep the digestive system running smoothly and reduces the risk of constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. Whole foods also contain enzymes that help the body break down the food and absorb nutrients more efficiently.
- Better Weight Management:
Whole foods are generally lower in calories and higher in nutrients, which makes them an ideal choice for weight management. Processed foods, on the other hand, are high in calories and have lower nutritional value. A diet rich in whole foods can help reduce the risk of obesity, which is a significant risk factor for chronic diseases.
- Improved Mental Health:
Consuming whole foods has also been linked with improved mental health. The brain requires essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats to function optimally. A diet rich in whole foods ensures that the brain receives these nutrients, which can help reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
This isn’t an all or nothing principle. You do not have to eliminate all processed foods from your life, rather, reduce processed foods and increase whole foods, even an 80/20 ratio would be a huge improvement on the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Nutrition Science Law Number Four:
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
Eating fruits and vegetables is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and it should be at the core of our diet.
Fruits and vegetables are not only delicious but are also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are necessary for optimal health and well-being. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer, which are leading causes of death worldwide.
Unfortunately, most people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables daily, and this can pose a significant risk to their health.
The average American gets less than 2 fruit and veggie servings per day, and those are mostly comprised of potatoes, carrots, and corn.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help our bodies function correctly. For example, they are an excellent source of fiber, which helps maintain gut health, reduce constipation, and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, they are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from damage, boost the immune system, and prevent chronic diseases.
And let’s face it, many people simply don’t like veggies, it can be a real challenge to get enough, every single day. Consider adding a high quality, high product count greens and reds powder into your routine to make sure you are getting all the magical phytonutrients you need.
- Disease Prevention:
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables daily can help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check, reducing the risk of heart disease. They also contain natural compounds like flavonoids, which have been shown to prevent cancer by stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells.
- Weight Management:
Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables can help with weight management. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and a natural source of water, which can help you feel fuller for longer. This can help you consume fewer calories overall, leading to sustainable weight loss. Additionally, they are a healthy and delicious snack that can replace unhealthy options like chips and candy.
- Improved Mental Health:
Eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can also improve your mental health. They contain essential nutrients that support brain function and can improve your mood, cognitive ability, and overall mental well-being.
- Easy To Incorporate:
Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is easy and affordable. You can add them to your meals or enjoy them as a snack. Some great ways to incorporate them into your diet include adding them to smoothies, salads, soups, or stir-fries.
Fruits and vegetables should be at the core of our diet for optimal health and well-being.
Nutrition Science Law Number Five:
When it comes to living a healthy life, exercising regularly and eating well are often the go-to habits that people focus on. However, one important aspect that is often overlooked is sleep.
If you do everything else right, but don’t prioritize sleep, it’s unlikely you will have success.
Sleep is essential for restoring our bodies and minds, and without it, we cannot function at our best. Sleep plays a critical role in our overall health, and it is closely related to weight loss.
First, let’s talk about how sleep affects our health. When we sleep, our bodies are in a state of rest and repair. During this time, our bodies are able to restore and regenerate cells, tissues, and organs.
Not only does this help us physically, but it also helps us mentally. As sleep is crucial for cognitive function and emotional balance. Lack of sleep has been linked to a variety of health problems. That includes high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. Getting enough high-quality sleep is crucial to maintaining long-term health.
Now let’s dive into how sleep is related to weight loss. Poor sleep quality or not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your metabolism, hormones, and appetite. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce more of the hormone cortisol. Which can lead to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.
Additionally, inadequate sleep has been shown to lower levels of the hormone, leptin. Which is responsible for regulating appetite and metabolism. This results in the body feeling hungrier and less full after meals. Thus, those who don’t get enough sleep are prone to overeating and eventual weight gain.
In addition to affecting metabolism and hormones, lack of sleep can also affect our motivation to exercise. When we are tired, we are less likely to have the energy and motivation to work out. Further hindering any weight loss efforts. Moreover, poor sleep can lead to increased stress levels, which also contributes to weight gain.
So how can we improve our sleep to promote long-term health and weight loss? Here are some tips:
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine
- Avoid caffeine after 2 PM
- Avoid alcohol and large meals close to bedtime
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment (cool temperatures, comfortable bedding)
- Limit exposure to technology before bed
So there you have it! The 5 laws of the science of nutrition that you can count on to improve your health! And they are easy to understand, and make an excellent basis for creating a healthy lifestyle!
Credits to precisionnutrition.com for the excellent research this post is based on.