You are what you eat… Lessons in Fat Loss

You are what you eat…

We have all heard this phrase many times. There are countless jokes on the topic, in fact we can always raise a laugh by commenting on what a friend is eating… If they are eating a piece of pig or cow it is really easy…


Illustration of a burger man, you are what you eat

You are what you eat! Metaphorically on a surface level, and literally on a molecular level.


“You are what you eat” is true in different ways

But how much have we thought about this? The phrase is true on different levels. From a scientific point of view, the food we eat is transformed into body tissues. For example, a vegan will have muscle fiber that has been created with the raw material from plants, beans or nuts. Whilst in school we are taught that we have separate distinct food groups, it really isn’t true. Meat doesn’t equal protein. We can find protein in different food groups.

Elephant’s are vegetarians! (Herbivores). At school we are taught that vegetables equal fiber, but when we analyse the structure of fruit and vegetables we find a long list of protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, minerals as well as phytonutrients and chemical structures that scientists do not even properly understand!

On a practical level, the phrase “you are what you eat” tends to refer to general health. For example, if we eat lots of “junk food”, we get a “junk body”. Eat healthy food full of vitality and you will be full of health and vitality… This is the most practical use of the phrase.

So, how is your diet? The answer involves proportions or percentages. If you eat lots of raw and partially cooked fruit and vegetables, plus lean meat, and you avoid processed foods, then this article probably wont be news to you. But you still deserve a pat on the back.


Then there are the junk food slobs who live on junk food and really don’t care… I will not discuss these kinds of people because they won’t be bothering to read this anyway!

Then we have the large majority of people. Those who are AWARE of the benefits of healthy eating, but are not SEEING the benefits of it.


Are you one of the people who make excuses?

Are you one of the people who finds themselves saying things like:

I’m too busy to cook so I end up eating fast food, take-away meals, delivery meals or ready meals!

I don’t have enough money and organic food is expensive.

My diet isn’t that bad, I eat some fruit and vegetables with my unhealthy food.

My diet is bad, but I make up for it by taking multivitamins!


I have a suggestion to help you get an idea of what your diet is really like!

Let me make a suggestion, why don’t you keep a food diary for a week. No big deal, just keep a small notepad in your pocket. Nothing too taxing on the brain, NO counting calories, figuring out fat grams, or keeping a points score whilst estimating the weight of food already served. Lets make this really easy.

You will need:

1) A small notepad.
2) A pen.
3) A highlighter pen.

If these 3 items are a problem, do not use this as a stumbling block, just improvise! For one week, write a list of every item you eat. Don’t write “salad”, write lettuce, cheese, egg, salad dressing etc. Don’t write “roast beef meal”, write roast beef, roast potatoes, gravy etc

Include snacks, sweets, and drinks.

At the end of the week. Take the highlighter pen, and highlight anything fried, processed (made in a factory in a packet with a list of ingredients), anything containing refined sugar, refined flour, or artificial additives and chemicals.

How does your list look?

Are the pieces of fruit and glasses of water insignificant compared to the massive swathe of flourescent ink across the page?

You are what you eat….



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10 Responses to You are what you eat… Lessons in Fat Loss

  1. Carl Mason-Liebenberg February 5, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    I really enjoyed this article….a great mix of candor, humor and challenge…you are indeed what you eat and discovering what the really is becomes a valuable lesson!

    • Fatloss Mental February 5, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks Carl, I try to involve as much humor and candor as possible in my articles, hoping it will resonate.

  2. Shari February 5, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Jason, a food diary is a great idea. It’s usually quite an eye opener to keep one. So far today I’ve had almonds, avocado, homemade hummus, microgreens, water and coffee. I see green tea in my future. And, er, maybe a small piece of red velvet cake! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your post!

    • Fatloss Mental February 5, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Shari, I have kept a food diary a few times over the years, usually involving grams, calories or points. In this article I wanted to make a point… That it is really simple to get a handle on the quality of our diets.

  3. Urban Paleo Chef February 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    Hi Jason – great article! I rarely keep a food diary anymore, but I definitely recall a time in the past where a food diary likely would have left me scratching my nose at some of my meal choices! Even when I was willing to eat unhealthy, likely I would have looked back at some of my “snacks” with less approval than I was thinking at the time!

    • Fatloss Mental February 19, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      When you keep records you are keeping it real…

  4. Jenn @comebackmomma February 19, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Great article. Later this week, I will be posting about eating styles. Some goes along well with the type of excuses you mention people making. Great idea for folks to sit down and highlight the junk at week’s end. I am sure many will be surprised by how much junk they actually take in.

    • Fatloss Mental February 19, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Especially the biscuits, sugary drinks and chocolate bars, it is easy to lose track of them and think that you have been strict when you haven’t

  5. jackie February 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Great Article! I especially love the little exercise at the bottom…high lighting the ‘not so good’ things eaten over the week.

    • Fatloss Mental February 28, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Thanks for visiting, and commenting!