Nutrition is tricky. And, nutritional information found on the internet is hard to digest (see what I did there)!
There are more diets than just those four out there, but the best “diet” is the diet that works for you. I don’t even like to refer to nutrition as “diet,” because of the negative stigma that comes with the term.
Nutrition should match your lifestyle, and the way you eat should be enjoyable, fulfilling, and consistent long-term.
Let’s start with talking about Macros: What Are They And Why Are They Important
- Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in large amounts. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are macronutrients.
- The right mix of carbs, protein, and fat vary for each person and are determined based on goals, activity level, and genetics.
- Counting calories and tracking macros is not recommended for everyone, but can be beneficial to learn the contents of foods.
Macros are in just about everything you eat. And most of the times each food is a carb, protein, or fat. But sometimes, a food fits in more than one category.
An avocado for example is: 21 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein.
Chicken breast (100 grams) is: 31 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat.
When you think of carbs, what do you see?
Most likely, breads, cereal, potatoes, rice, etc. But the whole list actually contains a lot more!
Carbs are essentially sugar molecules.
Unlike table sugar that are simple carbs and cause an immediate spike in blood sugar (and insulin!), long chain carbs, like sweet potatoes, are better for you and take longer to be broken down by the body.
Complex carbs are foods such as: oatmeal, veggies, fruits, lentils, quinoa.
Carbs are important to help your muscle restore and replenish glycogen after a workout- they help you recover faster so you can come to the gym and work hard the next day! Carbs are also a great fuel and energy source before a workout. My favorite pre-workout snack is 100 grams of grapes to give me energy and fuel to workout hard everyday!
Fats have a bad reputation! Mostly because the fats that are bad for you are fats we eat in chips, fast foods, meats, and dairy.
Fats are an important food source, and healthy fats are really good for you! Unsaturated fats are the healthy fats found in plant foods like nuts and avocados. You will also find good omega-3 fatty acids in fish and flaxseeds.
Sources of healthy fats include: nuts and nut butter, seeds, avocados, oily fish like salmon, trout, and fresh tuna.
Trans fats and saturated fats should be limited in your diet, and it’s best to avoid these food groups. Trans and saturated fats are found in fast foods, processed foods, cheese, sausage. These fats are linked to a higher risk of developing heart disease.
When eating fats, keep in mind a little goes a long way! Compared to 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates, fats contain more than double calories per gram (9 cals/g)!
Proteins are one of the most important macronutrient to consume for any goal.
Protein help build bones, muscle, blood, and skin. They perform a large amount of functions in our bodies that are necessary for longterm health.
Sources of lean protein include: white fish, white meat from poultry, prawns, steak, and egg whites, among others.
When you think about consuming proteins, always try to consume lean sources of protein so that you’re not consuming too many calories with each meal.
When it comes to nutrition, there is no one size fits all diet. What works for you may be the only thing that works well for you.
No matter the goal, you should always focus on balance with your nutrition.
Every meal should contain a large amount of veggies, and palm size of lean protein, and a half cup carbohydrates. Round off your meal with a little fat to make it complete.
Always make sure that you are intent and diligent with your nutrition.
Focus on small, sustainable steps and habits that you can do everyday.
If you are looking for more help with your nutrition or fitness goals, talk with one of our coaches – book an appointment