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100 Days restart - Day 12: Fuel or filler

Jenn J

Day 12: Fuel or filler

Take a close look at the foods you eat most. Are you getting adequate amounts of fuel? Or do you keep adding lots of filler to your tank? Keep in mind that fuel keeps your body running, but filler often gets sent directly to your fat stores.

Quality fuel provides solid nutritional content, with limited amounts of fat, sugar, and empty calories. Generally, you get decent fuel from most healthy foods, such as low-fat meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Filler foods tend to add extra calories but provide minimal nutrients. Most sweets, chips, and snack foods fit into this category. It's not that filler is bad for you. But when you constantly fill your tank with easy-to-grab snacks such as cookies or chips, it's hard to get good mileage from your body.

Even with healthy foods, watch to be sure that you're getting quality fuel. Sometimes what starts out as fuel actually turns into filler. For example, a bakery muffin typically has the same amount of sugar and fat as a large cupcake. And when you pour extra dressing on your salad, you dilute all of the fuel benefits of the salad greens and vegetables.

Filler drains energy

Don't ask your body to run on junk. Filler usually harms your energy as well as your weight-loss efforts. When you reach for snacks or desserts that you know are filler, limit yourself to small amounts. Focus on appreciating the tastes of these foods rather than using them as your main fuel source for the day.

To improve the quality of your fuel intake, look for foods with a lot of nutrient density. For salads, use dark-colored greens such as spinach and add lots of vegetables. Expand your fuel list by trying less common but healthy foods such as kiwi, jicama, kale, or mangoes.

Plan your fuel

Never assume you can get healthy food at a moment's notice. To avoid getting trapped without fuel, pack your own meals for airplane or road trips. Carry a protein bar with you when you go shopping. If you'll be spending most of your day in meetings, bring along a fuel kit that contains healthy snacks such as fruit and a container of yogurt.


Record each of the foods you eat today, then rate each one based on whether it provides fuel or filler.

At the end of the day, determine how well your fuel needs were met

Decide whether you need to replace some filler items with healthy foods that provide more fuel.

  flower Replied:

I carry raw almonds with me in the car and my husbands truck and if I need a quick fuel source I will eat 10 for a calorie count of 70 and 2.5 gms of protein and I am good to go for awhile longer ~~ Thank you Jenn J for taking these messages on ~~ it is a great thing you are doing !!

  Jeanne- CE! Replied:

I will be Clean Lean Jeanne no matter what!

  Lyn💛 Replied:

Yes, this one really speaks to me. Almost always I am careful about what I put in my body but there are times I am willfully oblivious. I will say, they are getting fewer and farther in between.

  Jenn J Replied:

Well, yesterday was proof that sugar/carbs and my body are not on good speaking terms. I had some pretzels and chocolate. Today my weight is back up. So, it's obvious to me that I need to really limit the carbs and sugars in my diet. My body automatically take these and converts them to fat, even if I'm on a low calorie food intake plan. So, in order to fuel and lose weight, I can't eat carbs in excess and keep sugars as low as possible. body need fuel, not fats built up inside. I'm ho;ping that some day I can add in some high levels of carbs, but to lose the weight, they have to be very limited.

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.