What is a nutrient? Nutrients are chemicals our bodies use to maintain homeostasis(state of balance) by building, maintaining, and repairing tissue. Nutrients also make it possible for our bodies to breathe, move, think, and much more by creating chemical reactions. Without nutrients we wouldn’t be able to function.
This is why it is vital to consume not only specific foods, but the proper amounts. That’s not to say we can’t indulge, but why it’s important to consume vegetables on a daily basis, even if you don’t like them. If you find it difficult to consume them start putting them in smoothies. Vegetables contain the most amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Food has two specific types of nutrients, macronutrients (big) and micronutrients (small). Macronutrients consist of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and water. Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Your body needs much more macronutrients than it does micronutrients.
When breaking down these macronutrients we need all three in our diets. Make sure to keep in mind the amount of calories in each macronutrient. There are…
4 calories in 1 gram of Carbohydrates
4 calories in 1 gram of Protein
9 calories in 1 gram of Fat
This is why we have to pay attention, to an extent (not saying you have to calorie count to a T), about how much we are consuming. Yes we need all three, but keep in mind if you are consuming something with 20 grams of fat in it that equals 180 calories versus an item with 20 grams of proteins or carbohydrates only having 80 calories.
This is not me telling you to take fat out of your diet, because I am a firm believer in healthy fats. They have many great health benefits. You just have to keep in mind the amount of calories you are taking in if you are eating something higher in fat. At the end of the day losing weight comes down to a caloric deficit. You have to be burning more calories than you are taking in. So having an idea of where you stand calorie wise on a daily basis can really help hit your goals.
Also remember that doesn’t mean starving yourself to hit that caloric deficit. If you are working out daily, or almost daily, your body requires more energy (aka calories). During the 2008 Beijing Olympics Michael Phelps was consuming 12,000 calories PER DAY!!!! That is 4,000 calories per meal. I don’t think anyone would consider him overweight. Just a little food for thought today 🙂.
Fitness Professional, Josh
Interested in learning more? Contact Josh or one of our other great Personal Trainers to figure out how to get more physical activity and/or exercise into your lifestyle.