🍏 CARBOHYDRATES provide 4 calories per gram
🥩 PROTEIN provide 4 calories per gram
🥑 FAT provide 9 calories per gram
To help understand the maths, if we took 50 grams of carbs and multiplied it by its caloric value (4), we can establish that 50 grams of carbs = 200 calories.
👇🏽 LET'S BREAK DOWN THE BIG 3 👇🏽
Proteins are vital for muscle repair and fat loss. As our muscles are made up of proteins, it is important that we are feeding our muscles constantly throughout the day (we recommend roughly every 2.5–3 hours) to prevent muscle breakdown. If we are lacking protein in our diet, our body will start to use our muscle tissue as fuel. This is known as catabolism. When your body becomes catabolic, you will stop burning fat and experience muscle wastage and fatigue. A protein-rich meal helps us to feel satisfied or full after eating. Therefore by including protein in each main meal you avoid constant hunger and unhealthy snacking.
🥳 Tissue repair
🥳 Immune function
🥳 Making essential hormones and enzymes energy when carbohydrate is not available
🥳 Preserving lean muscle mass
When we eat protein, our body breaks down the protein that they contain into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). There are 22 amino acids, eight of which are essential to the body — which means they need to come from our food (essential amino acids) — and others which are nonessential as our body produces them on its own. Protein that comes from animal sources, unlike plant sources, contains all the essential amino acids that we need.
There is a common misconception that eliminating carbs from your diet is how you lose weight. WRONG! You need carbs to sustain a healthy, balanced diet. Carbohydrates do not make us fat — a calorie surplus makes us fat. Carbohydrates are a vital energy source, providing us with the most essential substance glucose, All the tissues and cells in our body use this glucose for energy.
🥳 Carbohydrates are also needed for:
🥳 The central nervous system
🥳 Brain and muscles (including the heart) to function properly Energy
Intestinal health and waste elimination
There are two forms of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are made of just one or two sugar molecules (e.g. fruit and honey). They are the quickest source of energy, as they are very rapidly digested. Complex carbohydrates may be referred to as dietary starch and are made of sugar molecules strung together. They are often rich in fibre, and are used for timed released and sustained energy (e.g. vegetables, wholegrains and sweet potato). Complex carbs, or low-GI carbs, are digested slowly, giving the body a sustained energy release, which means they are very unlikely to be stored as fats.
Which carbohydrates do we need post workout and why?
After you have completed a workout your glycogen stores are depleted in your muscles and you need to replace those glycogen stores immediately. If you don’t, you are missing out on an opportunity to increase muscle growth and enhance muscle recovery. Therefore, for lean muscle gain and fat loss your post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day. Simple carbs must be consumed 30 minutes after your workout, followed by complex (starch) carbs 1 to 2 hours afterwards. This aids in recovery, which is a very important aspect for lean muscle growth.
Fibre refers to certain carbohydrates that our body cannot digest, instead they pass through our intestines and remove waste from the body.
Diets that are low in fibre have been proven to cause problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer. Diets high in fibre been proven to decrease risks for heart disease and obesity and help lower cholesterol. Foods high in fibre include fruits, vegetables, and wholegrain products.
Fats are also essential for our survival. We need healthy fats in our diet for:
Normal growth and development
Energy (fat is the most concentrated source of energy)
Absorbing certain vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids) Balancing out our hormones
Providing cushioning for the organs
Maintaining cell membranes
Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods
AVOID BAD FATS Trans fat (found in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and margarines) and certain saturated fats (found in butter, lard and cream) have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. Certain saturated fats, such as coconut oil, are excellent for you in moderation (1–2 tablespoons a day). CONSUME HEALTHY FATS Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy fats our bodies need. Eating these healthy fats is essential for reducing blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease, and promoting healthy joints and brain function.
What are micronutrients?
Micronutrients might only be needed in small amounts but they are still vital to help keep our bodies systems functioning and are also essential for good overall health. There are two types of micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. Each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in our bodily functions. Our bodies are unable to make all of the micronutrients themselves so they are needed in our diets. Different foods contain different levels of vitamins and minerals, so it’s important that you eat a wide variety of foods from the different food groups to make sure you get an adequate supply of all the micronutrients your body requires.
Vitamin A is an important micronutrient needed for healthy eyesight and gums Vitamin C supports a healthy functioning immune system
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which helps fight free radical damage in the body Vitamin D is needed for strong bones and immune function
Vitamin B is used for energy production, nervous system health and for proper digestion
There are also essential minerals that play important roles in the body such as: Iron needed for red blood cell production
Calcium for strong, healthy bones and teeth
Magnesium for nervous system health
Zinc for healthy skin and reproductive and immune function. Selenium for protection from chronic diseases and premature ageing
Ok now thats out of the way Let's talk tracking...
My recommendation is to use My Fitness Pal - you don't need the paid version to track food, you just need to know what your macros are - if you need help working these out please let me know.
OMG but Rhi I want to know it all now! I eat different foods
Ok ok lets break it down....
When you learnt to ride a bike
When you learnt to drive
When you learnt new techniques
You werent perfect, you invested time and energy to learn, you took baby steps and built momentum.
This is no different, start scanning foods and OBSERVING the breakdowns, start becoming aware of what you're doing, PRACTICE and PATIENCE.
So, lets take a look at some examples of different foods, remembering that essentially all foods will have a % of each protein, carbs and fats.
e.g Beef has a higher percentage of fat than Kangaroo.
Suggested day of eating Eg. Training in the morning
Pre-work out: Eggs on toast, fruit
Post-work out: Protein Shake (WPI - whey protein isolate) and piece of fruit
(or flipped if you prefer to train on a more empty stomach)
Meal: Rice, lean protein and veggies
Meal: Lean Protein, avocado, veggies and olive oil Meal: Yoghurt & almond butter
Meal; Salmon, veggies and avocado
Training at night, simply flip the order
REMEMBER! JUST LIKE EVERYTHING, THIS IS A LEARNING PROCESS, DON'T EXPECT TO LEARN THIS ALL OVER NIGHT - PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PORTION SIZES AND FOODS AS YOU WEIGH AND MEASURE. START TO LOOK AT THE MACRO BREAKDOWNS OF YOUR FOODS.
This tool is NOT to encourage you to obsess over foods and be restrictive. It is here to help you become more aware and mindful about what your body needs, when and how to get this into your body efficiently.
e.g post workout you're hungry, you eat a lean protein source and some carbs you feel satiated etc.