A Corvette needs premium fuel and so does your body.

Sure, you can keep yourself running for a while on Pop-Tarts, Hot Pockets and Jelly Belly treats, but you’re going to feel like garbage. You’re trading the short-term sugar rush of Skittles for the long-term consequences of lethargy and sluggishness.

Your personal engines—like muscles, joints, heart, brain and lungs—will wear out more quickly from low-quality fuel choices. Garbage in—garbage out.

But if you fuel up with lean meats, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes and brown rice, your body will efficiently transform those inputs into usable outputs. You’ll be healthier, perform better and just feel lighter.

It’s all in the math

A mathematical equation largely determines how much body fat you carry and how much you weigh. Many of us do everything we can to avoid this truth. But calories in and calories out governs the way your love handles spill over your jeans or how many notches you have to uncinch your belt. If you’re in a caloric surplus, you gain weight. If you’re in a caloric deficit, you lose weight. When you’re at your maintenance calories, your weight stays the same. 

In theory, you could lose weight eating just Ho Hos, Cookie Crisp and Twinkies. But no one over the age of 10 thinks that’s a recipe for health, longevity and sustainability. And if you have any athletic aspirations whatsoever, consistently cleaner choices of fuel will boost your performance in the gym, on the track or at the pool.

Like a Mustang Mach-E

While the barriers to entry for owning an electric vehicle might seem too high because of the price or range, everybody can make better nutritional choices. The short-term sugar-high payoff from a Payday bar may seem attractive, but the long-term effect is to move you farther from your fitness goals.

Make the cleaner choice. Your future self will thank you. 

Jim Schultz, Ph.D., a derivatives trader, fitness expert, owner of livefcubed.com and the daily host of From Theory to Practice on the tastylive network, was named North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation’s 2017 Novice Bodybuilding Champion.  @jschultzf3