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In May 2016, at age 41, I was at my highest weight ever, morbidly obese. I felt helpless. So I went to an information session held by a bariatric surgery clinic. They described the process leading up to the procedure, the surgery itself, and the expected results (and dangers). To be honest, I left feeling pretty terrified and defeated. I knew it wasn't for me, but I just felt forced to consider it. I knew I needed something radical, but what other option could there be? I honestly didn't know what else I could do....

“I eat pretty healthy." Many of my clients are already pretty health-conscious when they find me. This is the response given when asked about their diets during our initial meetings. I have seen it worn with pride, despite glaring indications to the contrary.  My clients come to me seeking a path towards less body fat, more muscle, more energy, improved health, and to just feel better. If their nutrition is so “healthy,” why is it they complain of such unhealthy problems? Could their nutrition actually be that good, but they’re just not getting the results they’re after? As Dr. John Berardi likes to say, sure it’s possible but it isn’t likely. Their “healthy eating” is based on loose and variable definitions. Without a stable framework, how will you ever know if your nutrition habits are on the right track? What does "eating healthy" even mean? Is it eating low-fat? Low-carb? Low-calorie? Is it the absence of junk foods, or is it the prevalence of nutrient-dense foods? Is it eating local organic? Vegan, vegetarian, lacto-ovo-pescatarian? Is it The Mediterranean Diet or The Zone Diet? Rest assured. One by one, the next five articles will answer the question, “what is good nutrition?” Enough questions. Let's get to some answers. Principles of Good Nutrition #1. Good nutrition controls energy balance. What is energy? You might be familiar with the common practice of calorie counting. Calories are a unit of energy that food provides us to perform countless chemical reactions inside our bodies. We absorb calories from the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the food we eat. Most of our daily calories come from food, but we also keep a stock of this energy source in our own body tissues, particularly body fat. As a protective mechanism, this stored energy is reserved for times of need (like starvation). For this reason stored calories are used secondarily to incoming calories from food. Special situations...

…Adults Look Down and Behind? Isn’t it amazing how rapidly children grow? I don’t mean just physically, but developmentally. In only ten short years, they go from having no clue how to tie their shoes to building the robots that might do it for them (did your high school have a sick robotics team like mine?). They (hopefully) learn to stop being selfish toddlers and transform into gracious gift-giving volunteers. They go from clumsily tripping over themselves in a fit of tears to standing in the face of adversity to win championships in complex sports. They may learn how to cook, speak for themselves, travel independently, and work a grinder of a job to become a functioning part of society. And in just ten years, they do all of this simultaneously. What have I done in the last ten years? I’m sure there are a few things you’re proud of, but are they countless? Have you forgotten most of them because they’re as abundant as the lessons from ten years of childhood? The neighbor’s high school kids might have you beat… What differences exist between adults and children, and could we learn from them to apply strategies to improve our own lives? First Difference: Authority Figures Children are surrounded by potential coaches and mentors. Parents, teachers, friends, friends’ parents and siblings, their own older siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, sport/dance/music coaches, tutors, etc. Basically anyone older than them. The list is extensive! Children seem to always be accountable to someone else, someone higher than them. They always have a guiding light. How many adults maintain such relationships deep into their adult life? A special role in adult life is that of an employer, or more specifically, a boss. Unfortunately, I hear more about people hating their bosses than loving them and looking up to them. No longer wearing the student hat, many of the other potential mentor roles in children’s lives simply...