• bridgetteking013

The Macro Guide

Macronutrients are the fats, carbs, and proteins that make up your total daily calories. While they each provide important nutrients for the body, many extreme diets manipulate one or more of these components to speed up fat loss. So, lets dive into the importance of each macronutrient, and I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not it is smart to cut one or more out of your diet.

Healthy fats are a crucial part of every diet. They are the source of essential fatty acids that your body cannot make on its own. Dietary fats give your body the energy it needs to support cell function and growth. Too much can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, and digestive problems to name a few. Too little can cause skin irritations, hair loss, weakened immune system, vitamin deficiencies, heart disease, digestive problems, and damage to the nervous system and organs. While fats are a vital macronutrient, many people eliminate them from the diet because of their high calorie content. If you have ever started a low-fat diet, the weight loss that occurs is due to the decrease in calories, not because eating fat makes you fat. A healthy balance is necessary to provide vital nutrients for your body.

Proteins give tissues and organs the proper support to function on a daily basis. They are quite literally the building blocks that make you into who you are. Too much protein can cause weight gain, impaired kidney function, increased cancer risk, and poor bone health. Protein deficiency can cause lowered immune function, skin issues, fatty liver, stunted growth, muscle wasting, liver degeneration, low blood pressure and heart rate, nutrient deficiency and anemia to name a few. Often times, bodybuilders will ramp up protein to increase muscle mass. If protein fuels muscle growth, you should eat all the protein right? Wrong! Your body will only absorb a certain amount of protein before the rest is released in urine. Once again, a healthy balance of protein will optimize muscle growth and keep your body functioning properly.

Carbs are the body’s main source of fuel. Eating too many affects your energy, cholesterol, skin, digestion, brain function, and so much more. Too little can lead to low blood pressure, kidney stones, digestive complications, nutrient deficiencies and increased risk of heart disease. From the concept of reducing carbs for weight loss, the keto diet was born. While in ketosis, your body switches from burning glucose to fat as a source of fuel. While this may sound appealing, long term carb deprivation may cause more harm than good. This type of extreme diet is used for individuals with certain diseases such as epilepsy, diabetes, parkinson’s and cancer, not the everyday individual.

So now you know the importance of macronutrients, and hopefully realize cutting out one can lead to dangerous consequences. While many diets, such as the keto diet, have short term benefits, especially for individuals with certain risks of diseases, these should not be your go-to for weight loss. With that being said, knowing how to balance each macronutrient can be a challenge. The dietary guidelines give percentages that Americans should follow, however, muscle building and weight loss require specific manipulation depending on how well you process each macronutrient. In general, it is best to start with protein at 10 to 35 percent, carbohydrates 45 to 65 percent, and fat 20 to 35 percent of your total daily calories. Experimenting with your body is the best way to figure out your specific needs for each macronutrient.

If you are unsure how to balance your macros or are tired of extreme dieting, let me help you set up a plan specific to your goals. Stop extreme dieting, and start focusing on a healthy balanced lifestyle!

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