When it comes to nutrition there is a big factor that is overlooked, just because you ingest something it doesn't mean you digest it. Our nervous system has different gears where it operates optimally in a calm state but also in a stressed state. We may have heard of our fight and flight response, that is our sympathetic nervous system. It activates when we encounter something stressful. It is not the best time to have our digestive system trying to work. Digestion works best when we are in a more parasympathetic state, which is in charge of rest, repair, and digestion.
Our nervous system hasn't evolved to the point where it recognizes the difference between mental and physical stress. Whether it is a bad day at work or a sabretooth tiger ready to pounce, our body interprets them both as stress. When we experience that stressful state it is incredibly hard for us to digest anything. Sometimes we'll get a cramp or even vomit. The cramp is a sign that blood is being pulled from our digestive tract to our muscle so we can be ready to create action. The vomiting is the body saying we don't have time to even think about digesting anything when there is an emergency.
In society we are drip fed stress throughout our day, inhibiting our body to absorb nutrients and digest our food. Protein, being the most difficult thing to digest, is held up in the colon only to petrify and wreak havoc on the bacteria in the gut. Carbs that are easy to digest might only stir a further stress response. The lack of nutrient dense food being digested creates a sense of hunger from the malnutrition going on. To compound the problem the body inflames taking on fluid, gaining weight.
Is it any wonder why people have such trouble losing weight? The stress of dieting is enough to make many people crazy. If only it was as easy as eating a certain number of calories here or marcos there. The answer is not always the food, it's you. Who we are is not what happens to us, it is how we respond.