A Beginner’s Guide To Calories And Macronutrients!


 

macronutrient-guide-modestdragon-768x508

 

I think we will all agree that most people will want to either lose or gain weight at some point in their lives. The problem is that most people don’t succeed in doing this and end up just making do with the weight they are at.

 

Gaining or losing weight can be a daunting task at first as it takes patience and dedication. The reason so many people fail in doing this is because they go into the idea of gaining or losing weight with limited knowledge. Once a person understands a few key things about diet and nutrition it is actually a lot easier to manipulate their body weight to their liking. The good news is that these key things are very simple.

 

Calories;

Calories are units of energy. Foods we eat can be measured by how much units of energy they contain. For example, a 100g banana contains around 90 calories, whereas a one-mile walk can burn 100 calories.

 

We all have a maintenance calorie level. This is the  number calories our body needs to maintain our current weight. Our bodies are designed very intelligently. We are survivors. When we eat over this calorie level our bodies store the extra calories (energy) as fat for future use.

 

When we eat under our calorie maintenance level this forces our bodies to start to use the reserve storage it has saved as fat.

 

So, losing or gaining weight is actually very simple. Either eat under your calorie maintenance level to lose weight or eat over your calorie maintenance level to gain weight.

 

So what are macronutrients?

 

Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are the 3 main nutrients that are within the calories we consume. They are the most important nutrients our bodies need and use for energy.

 

Carbohydrates (carbs);

 

macronutrients-guide

 

Carbs are used as the main source of fuel for our bodies. Carbs are easily broken down and utilised by our bodies. Carbs are sugars that break down in our bodies to create glucose. All of our bodily tissues have the ability to use the simple carbohydrate, glucose, as energy.

 

Foods that contain good carbohydrates:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Beans
  • Lentils

 

Proteins;

 

barbecue-999120_1280

 

 

Proteins are used to produce new tissues for growth and tissue repair, and regulate and maintain body functions. When we train our muscle tissues break down. Proteins are utilised by our bodies to rebuild and repair these muscle tissues. So when we train it is very important to consume protein.

 

 

 

High protein foods include:

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Legumes

 

Fats;

 

olive-oil-968657_1280

 

Fats provide our bodies with energy. They break down into essential fatty acids that travel in our blood streams. They help us absorb vitamins, create healthy skin and regulate sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

 

Foods that contain good fats:

  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Nuts

 

In short, to either lose or gain weight you need to change how many calories you eat. If losing weight is your goal you can consume fewer carbohydrates, fats or both. I advise to always keep protein intake high around 1g per 1lbs of body weight especially if you workout. To gain weight you can eat a little more fats, carbohydrates or both.

 

Do you have any other suggestions of good fats we can consume? Let me know in the comments below, I would like to hear your ideas.

 

If you have any questions or need any more advice you can email me or leave a comment below. I will be happy to help.

 

 

-Kamal

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *