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Rethink food as fuel

Joanne “Dr. Jo” Lichten, PhD, RDN is an author, speaker, and media spokesperson. She has spoken to more than 1,000 companies, groups, and conventions. Dr. Jo has appeared on more than 300 TV and radio shows and has been quoted in hundreds of articles in magazines, newspapers and websites.

We’ve gotten to know one another over the years and I was thrilled to spend time talking about her latest book, Reboot: how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity.

Rethink food as fuel

Video Transcription

Neily:       I’m with Dr. Jo Lichten. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Reboot. Dr. Jo tell us what Reboot is about?

Dr. Jo:     (laughing) I’m not going to give away the book but you want a little bit about the premise.

Neily:      I do.

Dr. Jo:    This book is all about energy management. I mean look at the statistics. About 38 percent of all US workers say they’ve had fatigue in the last 2 weeks and by fatigue I don’t mean just like tired. I’m talking emotionally, mentally just spent. So Reboot is all about how to get that energy back.

Neily:      So how do we get that energy back? Don’t give away the secret but just kind of give us a little teaser about it.

Dr. Jo:    Well I start off with talking about where energy comes from. These lights run on electricity. Our cars run mostly on gasoline. What does the human body run on?

Neily:      Calories.

Dr. Jo:     You know that right? It runs on calories and the foods that we eat. And yet so many of us when we think about food we just think in terms of nutrients or we think in terms of dieting—how to lose weight and so some of us don’t eat in the proper way to fuel our body. Even if you were to spend all day in bed, you would burn about 75% of all the calories that you need because your heart is pumping, your lungs are breathing, your brain is functioning.

I mean your brain, 2 percent of your weight is burning about 20 percent of your calories. So we need to have calories all day. If you’re saying, “Oh I don’t have time for breakfast,” or “Who has time for lunch?” and then you (gobble, gobble, gobble) all night; you’re not fueling your body properly. All day long when you’re not fueling your body—it needs calories while you’re sleeping, while you’re sitting at the desk. If you don’t fuel your body, it’s basically running from (energy) stores. Now I know you’d like to think it’s coming from fat stores but we all know that isn’t working, right?

Neily:       Right.

Dr. Jo:     A lot of those stores are coming from our lean muscle mass. So we’re breaking down muscle all day long and then at night when we stuff our face, all those extra calories have to go somewhere and then it goes into fat. So every single day we’re losing muscle mass, we’re gaining fat—losing muscle mass, gaining fat. So REBOOT isn’t really about weight per say but you will find when you fuel your body when it needs to be fueled for energy, it’s a lot easier to control your weight.

Neily:      Okay, good healthy calories, great part of the book. Excellent! Dr. Jo’s Reboot is the book. We’ll give you another tip in a minute, if I can get her to share one of her secrets (smile).

Dr. Jo’s Reboot: how to power up your energy, focus, and productivity is available on Amazon.

Dr. Jo - blue jacket

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Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach

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