nutrition 101: macronutrients, the antithesis to deprivation.
Posted on June 14, 2018
In the last article, we talked about how the law of thermodynamics is the guiding principle for body composition changes. This led us to the scientific conclusion that
weight loss = calories in < calories out
weight maintainace = calories in = calories out
weight gain = calories in > calories out.
This should lead every person who have ever deprived themselves on a diet to jump for joy you’d think right? We would laugh at diets that tell us we have to cut out carbs or fats or meat or alcohol or grains or whatever because we know, that is simply not true! But in my experience, this isn’t the case.
When I tell women with fat loss goals they can eat their favorite foods as long as they eat less than they expend, they freak out on me. They would tell me how they are the exception to the rule. How the only way they’ve ever lost weight was when they cut out bread or when they went vegan or did whole 30 or whatever other diet. They’ll also tell me that when they stopped the diet, and “got lazy”, they gained the weight right back. It used to make me so frustrated because no matter how much I’d try to assure them they weren’t at fault, they wouldn’t believe me. And you know what, I don’t blame them. I blame the diet culture time and time again and I’m here to help change that culture. So, if you’re a woman reading this and have blamed yourself for failing a diet, I’m here to reassure you you’re like 80% of other women who have also failed at their diets. But that your “failure” isn’t a personal failure but rather a systemic failure orchestrated by a greedy industry that preys off women’s insecurities.
We will change it though, by getting rid of self-blame, guilt over food and many negative emotions we’ve been conditioned over years and years to have. There’s no better way to do this than to get serious about arming ourselves with knowledge and accurate information about how to get right with our nutrition sustainably.
Going back to what this post was supposed to be about before I rambled yet again about my dislike of the diet industry; Macronutrients, what are they and why do we care?
Macronutrients are nutrients that the body needs in large amounts to function. There are three of them; protein, carbohydrates and fat. They all have different functions and we need varying amounts of each depending on what our goals are. Be it to lose fat, maintain satiety, enjoy the way we eat, perform well in the gym, or to even gain weight. Here’s a little summary of the roles of each of them:
•Protein: eating adequate amounts of protein is one of the biggest determinants whether we lose fat, muscle, or both while in a caloric deficit
•Fat: helps maintain hormonal function, makes food taste great, keeps us full, and just an overall awesome sauce macro
•Carbohydrates: makes a big difference in how we perform at the gym because it gives us energy. Our brain also functions on glycogen so having an adequate amount of carbs while in a caloric deficit ensures that we don’t get foggy and we have the energy we need to get through activities
There’s a lot to be said about macronutrients still, including how to calculate how much of each we need, how we account for individual genetic differences and how to master the habit of tracking them to use the data in achieving said goals. I promise to touch on all these in future posts because gaining the knowledge is pretty fucking important and can help you, like it did me, to stop spinning our wheels on our journey to better health.
See you soon,