Nutrition Challenge 2- The Right Balance of Nutrients
There are so many different diets out there. High carb diets, low carb diets, high protein diets, fat free diets. If you have ever researched losing weight I’m sure that you have found different sources telling you to cut carbs or to cut fat. With all of these different diets it can be tough to know the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that you should be consuming each day. The truth is, you should never completely cut any of these three things from your diet. Each one of these nutrients has a specific purpose and each one is necessary for a healthy body. Eating a balanced diet provides your body with all of the necessary nutrients it needs to release fat and create energy.
Not only do we need each one of these nutrients but we need a proper balance of the nutrients in order for our bodies to properly function. What is the proper balance of carbs, fats, and proteins? That is the million dollar question. You can go ahead and throw out the traditional Food Pyramid that calls for an excess of Carbohydrates and instead try and keep your diet consisting of 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Because each person’s body reacts differently to certain foods during the weight loss process, there can be some variations in the amount of these nutrients that is needed. So if you are finding that you aren’t getting the results you want by having 40% of your diet be carbohydrates then try decreasing the amount of carbs you are eating. Do the same for the fats and proteins based on need as well.
Let’s take a minute and talk about why each of these nutrients are important and why we need to get just the right amount of them.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. If you are taking in too many carbohydrates your body won’t be able to use the carbs as energy quick enough so it will store the excess carbs and that storage will turn into weight gain. But, if you aren’t getting enough carbohydrates you will have low energy, you will lose muscle tissue because your body will use it as an attempt of gaining energy, and a lack of carbs can lead to a depletion of the water storage in your body.
Fat is another source of energy for your body. If you are getting too much fat you will gain weight but if you aren’t getting enough fat in your diet, not only will you have a lack of energy but your body will not be able to produce hormones as it should and you won’t be able to grow or maintain health without the proper amount of fat.
Protein is necessary for growth and development. All of the cells in your body contain protein and protein is needed to repair cells and build new ones. Protein is also necessary in muscle growth. If you don’t have enough protein you will lose muscle and your immune system will be weakened. On the other hand, too much protein can lead to high cholesterol and kidney strain.
Remember that cutting nutrients from your diet isn’t what is best for you, but rather finding the balance to insure that you don’t gain unwanted weight and that your body gets everything it needs to function properly.
In a couple of weeks we will be doing another nutritional goal that goes into more detail about these nutrients and talks about what the best carbs, fats, and proteins to be eating are so stay tuned for that!
If you are not a part of our 12 week Shape Up Challenge, this is the nutrition article for Week 2 of the Shape Up Challenge. Click here to join.