Understanding Macro Nutrients – Carbs, Fat & Protein

The fundamentals! Let’s be honest there is a lot of misinformation out in that big’ol world and in the last 50 years or so we’ve been told that each macro nutrient (carbs, fat and protein) is bad for us!!!

Where does it end!? Where does the truth begin!?

Today I think it’s important to outline why we have each of these nutrients so you better understand saying “Oh I eat low fat” or “low carb” without any knowledge of what they actually do and taking that trusty evidence from the Daily Mail to back it up……… Because papers always tell the truth, right?

Protein;

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This one is pretty standard and most people do try to get more in their diet, but what does it really do?

  • Helps build and repair cells, hair, skin, muscle, blood and cartilage 
  • Used to make enzymes and hormones
  • It’s satiating – makes you feel fuller
  • High thermogenic effect – the amount of calories cost to digest protein is considerably higher than that of carbohydrate or fat
  • Muscle Sparing – helps prevent muscle loss

98% of the people that go to the gym their goal will be fat loss, in a calorie deficit it’s imperative to ensure protein intake is adequate most of all in relation to that last point to ensure you’re not losing any of that hard earned muscle while dropping weight, otherwise you might end up up looking like salad fingers….

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And that’s not pretty ^

What do I recommend I would say a good starting point is around 1.8g/kg bodyweight, though this is an average and things like the size of your deficit, how active you are, type of training are all things that need to be taken into consideration if you’re not sure drop me a message on my contact page HERE

Oh and protein shakes won’t suddenly make you “hench” overnight.

Fat;

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Easily misunderstood fat isn’t out there with a baseball bat waiting to force feed you into a chubbier, larger version of yourself, he’s your friend! Among its jobs are;

  • Stored energy,
  • Insulate us and protect our vital organs.
  • They act as messengers
  • Helping proteins do their jobs.
  • Help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism.

The most important things here is the huge influence fat has over your immune system, libido, growth, metabolism….. suddenly eating “low fat” all the time seems a bit odd right! It is important to understand that fat doesn’t make you fat, over consumption of calories and reduction of activity is what makes you gain fat.

“It’s physiologically impossible to gain fat if you’re consuming less calories than it costs to run your body”

Fat does have the highest calorie cost per gram with it being 9 Kcals/per gram so by no means should you suddenly start chowing down on 200g of nuts a day, but going “full on” low fat usually isn’t the right choice.

0.6 – 1g fat/kg body weight would be a recommendation – lower for sedentary or endurance higher for strength power sports

It’s also at this point I would like to mention the fact that protein and fat both have “essential” fatty acids and amino acids, these are things that your body cannot produce and needs to get them from external sources unlike carbohydrates. not sure drop me a message on my contact page HERE

Carbohydrates;

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Ahh the one everyone has probably been waiting for, currently the most victimized nutrient currently but that is no reason to!

  • Main source of energy
  • Needed to help grow muscle and aid in recovery
  • Used in brain function
  • Regulate the amount of sugar circulating in your blood so that all your cells get the energy they need.
  • Provide nutrients for the friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract that help digest food.
  • Assist in your body’s absorption of calcium.

All important factors, yes they need to be manipulated in your diet for your goals if fat loss you need to eat less, in muscle gain or performance sports you need to eat more. But they should never be cut out completely unless you have certain medical issues.

Only being 4 Kcals/per gram means they’re not as calorific as fat either.

Train hard and eat carbs it’s simple, it’s an energy source, go to the gym or whatever sport your do hit that session hard and enjoy your pasta, chocolate milk, rice knowing it’s fueling recovery, muscle growth.

How much you should have per day would depend on activity level and how many calories you need to consume.

To get an idea after you’ve worked out how much fat and protein you need the remainder of your calories would be made up from carbs but not sure drop me a message on my contact page HERE

*Another side rant* it should be understood that when carbohydrate is stored as glycogen it also takes water with it so when you have a day high in carbs and you weigh yourself the next day yes you weight will be higher but it’s not going to all be fat most of it will be water retention

What it comes down to is eating a variety

From Will, that guy who eats all the macro nutrients

Today’s track – Metallica – Fade to black 

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