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Wellness Journey 2: Understanding Macronutrients

Updated: Jun 4, 2020



There are multiple diet programs available nowadays - Ketogenic diet, Zone diet, Intermediate Fasting, High Fat Diet, Low Carb Diet, Calorie Deficit Diet. All work on managing the sugar/energy and handling insulin levels. Before we learn about the energy cycle, let's focus on understanding a few basic concepts about food.


Macronutrient: Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy and are required in large amounts to maintain body functions.


Three Macronutrient: Protein, Carbs, and Fat

 

Protein:

Protein and Amino acid are the building blocks of tissues & muscles. In order to build muscles, you need protein. When you exercise, your muscle gets micro-trauma (we will cover this later). A large amount of protein that we take breaks into an Amino acid that is required for muscle repair and growth.

Imp:

  • Amino Acid has no storage in the body so you need to eat every day. You need to consume protein on a daily basis.

  • Amount - Follow this simple principle - Your current body weight in kg = your daily protein requirement in gms.

 

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our muscles.


Three things to note about carbohydrates:

  • *Our body breaks carbs into glucose

  • *Carbs are the body preferred energy source

  • *Glucose gets stored in the muscles as glycogen.

There are two factors that impact the weight:

  • Amount of carbs (glucose) we eat.

  • How quickly (the rate) at which these carbs get converted into glucose. To measure that rate, there is a term - Glycemic Index. Foods that digest quickly and get converted into sugar are high on the glycemic index.


Carbs can be simple or complex. Complex Carbs takes longer to get digested and hence helps in weight loss.

 

Fat

Fat is essential for survival. It helps absorbs the vitamins and keep the body warm. Fat is also important for skin and hair health.


Two terms that you need to know :

1. Subcutaneous fat - this is the fat below your skin (you can pinch that :-)

2. Visceral fat - this is the fat on top of the body organ and cannot be seen. A high amount of visceral fat reduces the functioning of the body and is responsible for many issues like Type 2 diabetics, heart diseases, etc.

 

* Remember these as we will use this concept in explaining the theory around weightloss.



Macronutrients are not all, there are many more critical components that help in the overall wellness and weight loss. Let's learn about them in our next blog post.


- Saurabh

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