In today’s world there’s a diet for pretty much everything, and in a mess of trends and terms it can be hard to understand the best diet for you. If you don’t know much about nutrition, you may find yourself having trouble figuring out which diet suits your lifestyle and will actually get you the results you want. If you’re not careful, fad diets and trendy products can not only be costly but also not get you the changes you want, so today we’re going to simplify it for you...
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">What Are Macronutrients?</p>
Macronutrients is a term that you may hear thrown around often, and it can be intimidating if you know nothing about it, but don’t worry! We’re going to break it down so it’s easy to understand and not overwhelming..
Macronutrients, or more commonly referred to as macros, are compounds that are found in all foods. To survive, people need to consume them in rather large quantities as they provide the majority of our calories. The three main macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Breaking It Down</p>
The key to a good diet is to balance your macronutrient intake correctly otherwise you might gain weight or face other health issues like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. With our help, reading the nutritional labels on the back of foods will become second nature and you will learn to find foods that are not only good for your body without junky ingredients, but give it the right nutrition it needs.
So, what are each of these main macros? Think of carbs as like rocket fuel for your body. They provide you energy to get through the day. But, if you eat too many carbs, your body produces a lot of blood sugar, making it spike up and then suddenly plummet, causing that low-energy, groggy feeling.
Fat often gets a bad rap because it is associated with desserts and other unhealthy foods. But fat shouldn’t be demonized! There are plenty of good, healthy fats as well that your body not only enjoys but needs. Basically, you want to avoid the fats in Ding Dongs and cookies, and eat more meat, eggs, and fish since these will give you the good natural fats you need.
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Lastly, protein is a macronutrient that more people should be paying attention to. In the fitness world, it is well known that exercise combined with protein will increase lean muscle mass. And the great thing about muscle is that it constantly burns calories, even while you are taking a siesta on the couch. Also, ingesting a bit of protein will leave you feeling full much longer and stop you from overeating. There is a reason why you are stuffed after eating a hamburger or a steak but can polish off a bag of chips and a package of cookies and still be hungry for more –– good, healthy protein increases the hormones and peptides in your body so you will be feeling less hungry over time.
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<img class="img-fluid w-md-75" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/Macro_Proteins.png" alt="Macro Proteins">
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Calculating Macronutrients</p>
By studying those nutrition labels, you will be able to determine which foods you should and should not be eating. However, let’s take it one step further. Now, let’s talk about how you should balance each of these macronutrients for your diet. A healthy diet consists of calculated percentages for each macronutrient you should be consuming each day and keeping an eye on those percentages is your next step in eating healthy!
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####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">All Calories Matter</p>
Now, what about calories?Make no mistake about it, all calories certainly do matter. There are some diets out there that won’t mention calories one bit, but in doing so, they are setting people up for failure. If you are eating well over your daily allowance of calories, you will be putting on weight regardless if you are eating healthy or not.
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/estimated-calorie-requirement">**According to WebMD**</a>, the amount of calories a person should consume a day depends on how active they are and their age. With that in mind, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-calories-per-day">**Healthline**</a> says an average woman should take in about 2,000 calories a day. And in return, an average man should be consuming about 2,500 calories a day. If a man or woman is eating less than that, there is a good chance they will be losing weight. If they are eating more than that, then they will be putting on weight instead.
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The Keto Diet</p>
The popular ketogenic diet is essentially a low carb and high fat diet that makes your body start burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. If you can stay on the keto program, it is great for weight loss. After the first few days of the diet, your body will enter a metabolic state called ketosis. During ketosis, your body uses ketones for energy instead of glucose (carbs) and ketone bodies come from fat intake and supply the energy for your body. <a href="https://www.livestrong.com/article/32587-fat-burning-vs.-carbohydrate-burning">**There are health experts**</a> that state that fat is actually a much more stable source of energy.
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Ketosis and Macronutrients </p>
Let’s put this all together and talk about how you can balance your macronutrients to get into ketosis.Protein is always important to promote new muscle growth and retain the muscle mass that you do have and are important to your body. On the keto diet, 20 to 30 percent of your calories should be coming from protein every day. If you want to maintain muscle, keep it closer to 30 percent. However, don’t go above this amount as too much protein has kicked people out of ketosis because the body can start burning protein instead of fat. Many people find that consuming one gram of protein per two pounds of body weight is a good way to keep it in check. This means that if you are 200 pounds, then the most protein you should be consuming is 100 grams.
The carb restriction for the keto diet will once again require you to start reading nutrition labels like it is your job. You might feel overwhelmed at first as you get a crash course on nutrition by just calculating your macronutrients or attempting the keto diet, but soon you will be able to recognize exactly what you should be putting in your body. Only approximately five percent of your calories should come from carbs.
This leaves about 65 to 75 percent of your calories should be derived from healthy fat. That is the key word: Healthy! The high fat foods that are full of sugar will be the ones you want to avoid since they will also be packed with calories and carbs. Keep your kitchen well stocked with meats, fish, nuts, eggs and avocado.
####<p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Keep It Simple</p>
Macronutrients may be a ten cent word tossed around by health enthusiasts, but by breaking it into the three categories of carbs, fat, and protein, you are able to simplify it greatly. The key is to not get overwhelmed during your quest to improve your health. If you need to, find a friend who has already done this. Or, better yet, ask a friend to go on this journey with you. Keeping healthy and fit should be a goal for everyone throughout life, and with our help it doesn’t have to be confusing.