In part 1 of the understanding nutritional series we talked about energy balance and how it is the most important and key step in achieving your fitness goals and nutrition plans.
The next key step is your macro-nutrient requirements. Macro-nutrients are the source of energy we get from the food we eat, these are protein, fats and carbohydrates, found in almost all foods available in varying quantities and quality.
Macro-nutrients = Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates
Macro-nutrients are the next step because they are vital to a number of key functions required within the human body to help it perform optimally, including repairing of damaged tissue, energy to move and a whole lot more.
Now that you know what macro-nutrients are, how many of you know how much of protein, fats and carbs you consume on a daily basis? This is where tracking what you eat can really help propel you towards your goals either that be fat loss or building lean muscle tissue. A great app I use and all of my clients use when they purchase a coaching package with me is MyFitnessPal. You can easily download this from the app store and is free to download/use.
Tracking your food helps give you a better understanding of your caloric intake and how many calories are in certain food groups. This helps give you a baseline of your current eating habits, which with this knowledge you can make the required adjustments to help you achieve your goals.
Another question how many of you think that most of the population eat way too many carbohydrates? This includes sweats, bread, rice, pasta etc.
If you said yes, you would be right! The majority, not everyone but most consume way too many carbohydrates and very little protein, this can have a big effect on your energy balance if you are not very active during the day or not training.
Carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin in the body and it is the mother of all fat storing hormones, so you can see why eating too much can lead to fat gain if you are not physically active on a daily basis.
When you eat protein or carbohydrates you get 4 kcals per 1g of these macro-nutrients, where’s with fat you get 9 kcals for every gram. Kcal (calories) is the amount of energy you get when you eat this food and then is digested and absorbed by the body. This is what makes ups up energy balance, the energy (kcal) from our food and liquid adds up to the amount of energy per day. Everyone has a different energy requirement and therefore a different ratio of protein, fats and carbs. It depends on activity level, lean muscle mass and fat mass. Each macro-nutrient provides us with energy but as you can see fat gives us slightly more in comparison.
If you would like to know your macro-nutrient requirements then message me on Facebook page or go to the ‘Get Started’ page on the website and send me an message. This will really help with your fitness goals and the results you desire.
Without these protein, fat or carbohydrates will would not have the energy required to do our daily routine or move! So once you have worked out your energy balance (refer to Energy Balance article), you then need to sort out your macronutrient intake for optimal results but also to function and perform effectively.