Ok, so in our last blog, we talked about macronutrients and what they are. Today, we want to go a little deeper into what purpose they serve in a sound and balanced nutrition plan.
It’s important to note that meal plans for athletes and meal plans for our more “average” client, will differ greatly. For short periods of time, athletes, with a set date of competition or photo shoot, will have to buckle down and adhere to a schedule of nutrition and exercise that may be a bit harsh or unbalanced. Perhaps they have to be in the single digits in body fat and/ or carry very little subcutaneous water for a contest or photo shoot. For these individuals, short bursts of this type of protocol will get them to their goal after which they can return to a healthier, more balanced approach.
These are NOT the plans we are addressing in this blog. We are talking about the average client with a goal of improved health, more vibrancy and energy and of course, an appropriate body weight/ body mass index. For these individuals it’s important to include foods from all 3 macronutrient groups. (Protein, carbs and fats).
The ratios of these “macros” will depend on several things. A “food preference” questionnaire helps us determine a good starting point for our clients macro ratios and then we fulfill these ratios using foods they enjoy and, oftentimes foods they are already eating and enjoying, only in a different proportion than they used to.
All three macros are important for different reasons.
1)protein: helps muscles recovery from intense exercise. Creates a satisfied and “full” feeling (satiety) when included in meals. Helps improve metabolic function.
2)carbohydrates: act as the primary fuel for all muscular activity. Provide the brain and heart and nervous system with a readily available energy source. When used correctly can boost the metabolism and aid in the burning of bodyfat for fuel.
3) fats: the right sources of fats will help regulate important hormones in the body and actually aid in muscle retention and fat loss. Also help with maintaining a healthy cardio vascular system and can be very anti inflammatory which can help with certain joint issues. They also help your body utilize some very important vitamins.
So as you can see, you probably don’t want to greatly reduce or eliminate one or more of these 3 nutrients on a permanent basis. Although the human body can exist without dietary carbohydrate quite easily, proteins and fats are essential for life. So a no-carb plan can work in theory, the main problem I see with these plans is that they are usually too limiting for the average person to stick with as you need to exclude a full 1/3 of your food choices.
So, in summary: all three macronutrients play key roles in your health and performance. Arriving at the best ratio of these macros is the first step to eating correctly. Then, using those ratios, creating a plan that puts your body in a slight calorie deficit. This will create a comfortable and livable nutrition plan for you to follow while you reach your goals.
If you’d like to sit down with one of us to see how this is done, contact us for a free consultation!