Your Optimum Weight… NASCAR-Style!

Written by Dr.Scott Rosenthal. Posted in Family Health.

Could it be the hot dogs, cold beer and the pungent smell of burnt rubber?  Perhaps it’s the many steps and other obstacles that exercise the thighs and legs like pistons while on the way to your seat.  Or, is it simply the deafening roar of the passing cars and cheering crowds?  How can NASCAR keep you fit?  To help in the creation of one’s optimum weight, it is better to look at a NASCAR pit crew for the answers than to the crowded concession stands or circling drivers.  Why is that?  The pit crew knows fuel, parts and tires. 

 Let’s take a drive around the track of nutritional basics.  Nearly all foods fall into one of three categories:  carbohydrates (affectionately known as “carbs”), fats and proteins.  I have been unable to identify or create a food group for diet soft drinks, sugar-free gum or 90% of the colorful, individually wrapped checkout line treats that my kids hypnotically request when at the market.  Putting aside the artificial food-masquerading creations of the chemical industry, this article will focus on the three food categories and when to eat each for optimum weight control.

 1.  Carbs or sugars are the fuel of the body.  Fruits, pasta, rice, breads, potatoes, carrots, beets, honey and table sugar are among some of the main foods primarily made of carbs. 

2.  Fats are found in nuts, seeds, avocados, meats, fish, dairy, egg yolks and oils.  Although used for energy as well, fats form many structures within the body, including muscles, nerves, membranes and blood vessels.  They are also essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K in the body. 

3. Proteins are found in every cell in the human body.  Made of amino acids, proteins are a significant part of the skin, muscles, organs, glands and genes.  Common sources of protein are legumes (soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, black beans, etc.), meats, fish and eggs.  Please visit for a more complete listing of foods in each group.

 In order to obtain one’s optimum weight NASCAR-style, think of the body as a car.  Carbs are the fuel.  Fats and proteins are the spare parts and new tires.  The beginning of a race may be thought of as BREAKFAST.  Large quantities of fuel are needed at the start.  The main pit stop during the race would equate to LUNCH.  During this intermission, repairs and refueling are made to allow performance to continue.  The race’s end in the evening would be DINNER.  At this time, no fuel is needed and many spare parts are essential to rebuild the worn engine and tires for the next day. 

Fill the fuel tank in the morning by eating the majority of the day’s carbohydrates at breakfast.  At lunch, fewer carbs are needed, but fats and proteins may be consumed in greater quantities.  Dinner should contain few to no carbs and be comprised mainly of fats and proteins.  If we cross the double line and carbs are consumed heavily at dinner or even later on a regular basis, our fuel tanks will begin to outgrow our jeans or favorite dress! 

Let’s break this down to nuts and bolts… if you are planning to eat spaghetti for dinner and have a chicken Caesar salad for lunch, weight can be better maintained or lost by switching the pasta to lunch and the salad to dinner.  Eat the omelet for dinner, instead of breakfast.  Eat fruit at breakfast.  Try to make lunch the biggest meal of the day… after all, it is at this time that fuel and parts are BOTH needed.

Are your eating habits stuck in third gear?  Is your weight causing excessive tread wear?  Thinking like a NASCAR pit crew member and eating the right foods at the right time can really get your motor running and lighten your load.  You have to take the wheel and change your current lane now, and you, too, can speed your way to the coveted checkered flag of optimum weight!  This is a race that EVERYBODY can truly win!

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