Three Lessons American Airlines Taught Me About My Health

I recently saw a behind the scenes look at American Airlines.  This business documentary was designed to look at the areas of American Airlines that the public never sees.  From the union work floor to the executive offices…and everything in between.  It was what American Airlines did to save money on fuel, however, that really taught me some health lessons. 

american airline
It’s amazing how much fuel is used each day by American Airlines for all of their worldwide flights.  The largest operation costs of the airline industry is fuel related.  So years ago American Airlines set out to discover ways to cut down on costs by tracking all of their fuel.  Their cost-savings discoveries lead to some great parallels with health and this is what I want to share with you.

(1) Little Changes Matter

One of the cost-savings advisors decided to start small.  Really small.  They simply removed the leftover magazines that remained on board once a flight was over.  The accumulated Golf Digest, Newsweek, Time and other magazines were removed after each flight.  Even the in flight magazine published by American Airlines had to have approval on weight before being allowed on board.  This lead to less fuel and more savings.
They turned their attention to the potable water stores and realized that for domestic flights they were not using anywhere near the amount of water they were carrying, so they reduced the load a little.  This lead to less fuel and more savings.  They removed old microwaves that weren’t being used.  They removed heavy items that served no purpose.  No item was too small to be considered.  If there wasn’t a purpose…it was removed.
All in all, American Airlines saved hundreds of millions of dollars each year on the price of fuel from these very simple steps.
The small changes that you make in your health add up.  Sure it might seem like ordering water instead of a Coke, skipping the bread served with your meals, or passing on dessert is a change too small to make a difference.  Don’t be fooled.  Small changes add up!  So keep working on those little, long-lasting changes in your life and you will start to see some serious return on your investment.

(2) Energy Sources Matter

Another waste of fuel…leading to increased expense…that was discovered was in the coffee making process.  Initially the crew would brew coffee in flight.  This forced the use of auxiliary power which was generated by using jet fuel.  That small Styrofoam cup of coffee was found to cost $25 per cup on average!  So instead of in flight brewing they would wait until they were on land and would plug into ground power.  By changing the source of their power they were able to save.
Too many people are getting their “power” from highly refined carbohydrates that spike blood sugars, raise insulin and cause rapid burnout.  The expense on your body is terrible.  That high carbohydrate, sugar-laden, protein-poor, popular cereal you are eating spikes your sugar…only to leave you crashing a couple of hours later.  This is inefficient and expensive for the body.
Changing your energy source to whole, natural, real foods that are properly consumed with adequate protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber provide you with better energy and are more sustainable for your health in the long run.  Eating the right foods at the right time can have profound positive impacts on your health, mental clarity and energy all day long.  It amazes me that once people start altering their energy source they are able to feel great all day long and don’t need all the “energy drinks” that are peddled to Americans to get through that afternoon grind.  
Plug into real food and you will reap amazing benefits!

(3) The Greatest Fuel Cost Was Too Much Fuel

The biggest fuel expense that was discovered in this investigation was that planes that actually loaded too much fuel had more waste.  Obviously too little fuel would be a big problem.  You don’t want your plane engines running out of jet fuel 50 miles from your destination.  Not good.  They found, however, that too much fuel was also a big problem.  It was the heaviest part of the flying weight of the plane, it was burned off and literally wasted due to inefficiency and it drove the prices sky high.
We’ve all heard the saying, “eat to live, not live to eat”.  This was the phrase that kept coming to my mind when they were talking about the excess fuel issue.  Think about the negative effects on your health when you consume too many calories.  The extra muffin here, the office donut there, a quick run through the fast food line and a quick stop for the designer coffee…now you are adding some serious extra calories each day.  Again, this is expensive for your metabolism and puts you on track for suffering with chronic disease.
So are you wanting to improve your health?  Take some lessons from American Airlines and start with little changes, change your source of energy and don’t over consume your fuel sources.
I hope this post was helpful.  What are some ways that you are making small changes that are now starting to reap positive health benefits?  Please share below!

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