Monday, September 27, 2010

You Are What You Eat! Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats

In order to get the best results from an exercise routine you must supply your body with a nutritious diet.  You must take in the right amounts and types of nutrients to maximize you physique internally and externally.  We all want to look and feel good but do not understand how to put the pieces to the puzzle together.  Everyone has different fitness goals.  Whether your goal is to lose fat, gain muscle mass, or increase endurance, what you are eating in your daily diet will determine if your goals are reachable.  You are what you eat!  There are three macronutrients that we consume in our diet each day which are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  The way we consume these three essential nutrients will determine our overall health. 

Carbohydrates, which are found in mainly fruits, vegetables, grains, and rice are used as energy sources for your body.  Carbohydrates are sugars, the number one source of energy for your body.  The carbohydrates you consume are converted to glycogen and stored for use in your muscles and liver.  Glycogen is the storage form of sugar(glucose).  Carbohydrates, being your body's main source of energy for activity, should be consumed by atleast 3 grams per pound of body weight each day.  Whatever fitness goals you have, you must have energy for your activity.  A lack of carbohydrates in your diet can lead to weakness and fatigue!

Proteins, which are found in mainly meats, dairy products, beans and nuts are essential for muscle growth and reconstruction.  Proteins are made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of life.  If your goals is to increase your muscle mass, it is important that you consume approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.  Protein is essential for every diet in order to simply maintain the muscle that you already have.  All active, functional tissue in your body can be categorized as your lean mass.  Your lean mass is what burns calories to function and to reconstruct cells.  It is important to maintain a protein rich diet even when trying to burn body fat.  When you are maintaining your muscle mass, which increases the rate at which your body burns calories, there is nothing left over for your body to store as fat!

 Fats, which are normally found in dairy products, processed foods and meats are used as sources of energy in your body, unlike carbohydrates though.  Fats are like a secondary energy source but also contribute to hormones and other internal processes.  It is important to keep your fat intake to a minimum.  It is recommended that less than 20% of your daily diet should consist of fats.  Eating alot of processed foods and fatty meats, like beef and pork, can cause you to store more fat in your midsection and sabotage your fitness goals.  Too much fat in your diet can lead to heart related health risks and obesity.  Do not avoid all fats!  Fats from fish oils and peanuts are actually healthy and good for the heart.  It is best to avoid saturated and trans fats completely while indulging in healthy fat sources.

Depending on the levels and how often you consume these three macronutrients in your diet will determine your health and fitness.  If you want bulging muscles then eat more protein, take a protein supplements if you have to.  If you want more energy for endurance make sure you consume enough carbohydrates.  You will usually get the necessary amount of fats you need from your protein and carbohydrate sources.  If not make sure you keep your fats to a minimum to avoid failing at reaching your fitness goals and shortening your life.

Want a personalized plan put together showing you how to consume theses three macronutrients to best benefit you reaching your goals?

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