Macronutrients –Changing Your Nutrition Habits
Your Body Requires the Appropriate Amounts of Macronutrients
During our fitness journey there always comes a time when we realize that it is necessary to include a change in our nutrition habits. Generally, with most people, their thought is that they need to “go on a diet”. I find this is where confusion sometimes sets in, and they veer off the path and have a setback.
Changing your life means permanently changing the habits that haven’t worked for you. When I discuss nutrition with clients, I never use the word “diet” because diet has negative connotations and people think they need to deprive themselves severely to achieve their goals. The reality is that you need to change the way you eat and start thinking about how you want to fuel your body. Food is a fuel, and people need to realize that you wouldn’t put “regular 87” gas in your Ferrari, so why would you put processed, low-quality food into your body? Your body also requires the right fuel mix or in other words – the appropriate amounts of macronutrients.
What Does Having Good Nutrition Habits Mean?
First and foremost, nutrition is giving your “engine” the nutrients it needs to function properly. Your body requires the right balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein). The appropriate balance varies from person-to-person based on several factors, which include body type and sports activities.
The majority of Calories in most people’s nutrition will come from carbohydrates. The recommended intake for carbohydrates is 45 to 65 percent of your Calories. Each gram of carbohydrate will provide you with 4 Calories.
Fat is an essential part of our diet because it helps us to feel more satiated and also contributes to burning stored fat. Your nutrition plan should include 20 to 35 percent of your daily Calories. Due to the fact that it is very energy-dense, each single gram of fat equals 9 Calories. It is important to note that less than 10 percent of daily Calories should consist of saturated fat, and trans-fat should be avoided altogether. The remainder of fat intake should be the much more nutritious monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The rest of your daily nutrition needs consists of protein, which will be the final 10 to 35 percent of the Calories. The minimum Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram. Keep in mind this amount of protein is what you need in order to just keep from getting sick and not what is required if you are trying to build muscle.
Check out this online calculator from the USDA to get more specific guidelines for your required, macronutrients, micronutrients and minerals.
Quality Not Just Quantity
All Calories are not created equal! Contrary to popular belief, a Calorie is not just a Calorie. Instead of focusing on the Calorie itself, consider the quality of food that you are consuming. High-quality foods need to include unrefined, unprocessed foods whenever possible. Always include organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and clean protein.
Still confused about how to construct an appropriate nutrition plan for yourself?
Hire the appropriate professional to make a balanced nutrition plan, this would include:
- a personal trainer that has a nutrition certification,
- a certified holistic nutritionist
- a naturopathic physician
- a dietician for those who have specific health concerns
Want to learn more about nutrition?
Sports Nutrition Certification (CSNA)
This innovative fitness nutrition certificate program integrates the knowledge and expertise of both Infofit and the Cory Holly Institute (CHI), offering certification that is internationally recognized and respected.
Consisting of ten instructive online learning modules that took more than a decade to research and develop, this comprehensive distance learning education program certifies each student as a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor (CSNA).
Each module is approximately 20 hours of study and 20 BCRPA CEC’s per module.
Cathie Glennon, BCRPA – SFL