Sunday, August 7, 2011
Tony's Tips-Calories, Proteins, Carbs & Fats
In my first post I said I would teach you how to lose weight and keep it off. In order to do this I feel it would be best to start with the basics of nutrition so you can understand how food affects the body. Lets begin.
Whenever we consume something we are consuming calories. The easiest way to define a calorie is a unit of energy that we will use. We get calories from macro nutrients contained in foods and each macro nutrient has a specific amount of calories per gram. There are a total of 3 macro nutrients that we put into our bodies. They are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. A gram of protein contains 4 calories, a gram of carbohydrates contain 4 calories, and a gram of fat contains 9 calories. Each of these “macros” affect the body in different ways and play different roles in making your body function.
Proteins- protein is the preferred macro for the bodies muscle tissue. When a muscle is broken down due to strenuous activity, protein rushes to the muscle to repair it and make it stronger. Without protein our muscles would be broken down by our body and also result in major health problems ( more on this later in a more in depth post. )
Carbohydrates- carbs are the bodies preferred source of energy. When you are walking outside, lifting weights, or even sitting, the body is most likely using your carbohydrate stores for energy. Ever wonder why energy drinks give you energy? They contain excessive amounts of sugar, which is a very quick digesting carb ( it gets broken down quickly and energy is released quickly, thus giving you a rush of energy. )
Fats- fats are used primarily for healthy hormone production. To put this very simply there are good fats and bad fats, they both contain 9 calories per gram, but affect the body in different ways and play slightly different roles ( more on this in another post. ) Without fats in your diet, your bodies hormone production would be out of whack and can cause negative side affects to your body as well as your mood.
Now you have a basic understanding of the 3 macro nutrients which the body consumes. Protein and fat are essential to a healthy body and carbohydrates fuel us to carry out our daily tasks.
My tip for the week- If you or someone you know is trying to lose weight, then cut out at least one of the following from your food list- sweets, soft drinks, fast food, junk food. If you can cut out more than one, then great! I’m not saying go cold turkey on all of these at once. Even if you only cut out one item for the week, feel free to treat yourself to that item one time this week. When I started my diet I cut out all of these right away, but once a week I had a couple of potato chips or a burger - everything is fine in moderation!
Look at it this way- if you frequently consume any of the above and now cut it out for the majority of the week (having it only once or twice) is still going to register thousands of calories less during the week. That can add up to 1- 5 pounds of fat a week! Think about that!
Also, outside of your normal daily routine try to make yourself active for 20 minutes per day, even if it's just by walking. The main idea is to do something which you are not accustomed in order to burn excess calories.
See you next week!