TWR Episode 002: “Nutrition for Weight Loss – Your Macros and Food Quality”

Episode 002:  "Nutrition for Weight Loss - Your Macros and Food Quality"

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On Today's Episode we wrap up the topic of Nutrition for Weight Loss, and give you a brief overview of the recommended breakdown of macros in a healthy nutrition plan as well as provide you with examples of some foods to eat in order to provide your body with high quality fuel. The topics of discussion have been outlined below for you to easily follow along. Please leave us your comments and questions below, as well as any new topics you would like us to cover in future podcasts. Enjoy!


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On Episode 001 of the Podcast, "Belly Fat - The Safe and Effective Way to Lose It", we talked about how to determine your needed quantity of calories for a fat loss plan, as well as some other fundamentals of weight loss, health, and fitness. If you haven't listened to the first episode, we highly recommend listening to it before delving into this episode.


Nutrition for Weight Loss - Your Macros and Food Quality

Is the Quality of the Foods I Eat Important? We say "Yes, it is."

As far as weight loss goes, the quality of the foods you eat may not play a very important role in whether or not you lose weight. However, the quality of the foods you eat will play an integral role in both how you feel and how you perform during your workouts. If you are not on a fat loss plan, meaning you are not eating at a calorie deficit, than the quality of the foods you eat becomes even more important, not only to your overall health, but also to the way that your body processes those foods.

 

What are Macros and How Much of Each Should I Eat?

Macronutrients are:

1. Proteins

2. Carbohydrates

3. Fats

 

Protein: 15-25% of your total daily intake

Made up of Amino Acids (Some we need to get from our diets, others our bodies make) Complete proteins, containing all 9 amino acids, are found in animal sources. In charge of 2 very important things in the body:

  • Protein Synthesis (Muscle Building)
  • Cellular Catalyst (Cellular Function) - prioritized over Protein Synthesis

Not having enough Protein in your diet will result in your body not building muscle, and if it is too low, could lead to muscle breakdown.

Too much Protein in your diet paired with too few Carbs will result in your body breaking down protein for energy. This can be beneficial short term for fat loss since it is more work for your body to breakdown the Protein for energy than Carbohydrates, however,  it causes added stress on your liver and kidneys and could lead to digestive issues. Not recommended for those with known health problems related to the liver and kidneys. We recommend a more balanced approach to your macros.

Your Protein intake should be between 15-25% of your total intake depending on your goals. We aim for right around 25%.

Foods for Proteins: Lean meats, fish, milk, eggs, dairy, beans, legumes, nuts

Complete Proteins(from animal sources) contain all 9 amino acids and so consuming them every 3-4 hours will help ensure that your body has all the amino acids it needs. To determine how much (grams) of Protein to eat at each meal, we recommended finding your total daily Protein grams and distributing them throughout the day pretty evenly.

 

Carbohydrates: 50-60%  of your total daily intake

Carbohydrates are your body's main source of fuel. They are easily stored as glucose in the liver and bloodstream and used primarily for energy in intense activities as well as throughout the day.

  • Triggers Insulin release
  • Taken up into muscle with Amino Acids

Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Simple Carbs are foods like sugar, fruit juices, honey, candy, etc. These are taken up into your bloodstream very rapidly. Since our liver and muscles absorb at a gradual rate, excess simple carbohydrates that can not be used immediately will be stored as fat.

Complex Carbs are usually fibrous foods such as whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, brown rice, etc. There are many gluten free alternatives for those with gluten sensitivities and/or allergies. These are slow digesting foods and therefore a slower rate of absorption. This allows time for your liver and muscle to replenish their glycogen stores and use them at a later time for energy.

Tip: When shopping for food, read the labels. If a boxed item has ingredients that you can not pronounce, you probably want to avoid eating it.

 

Fats: 25% of your total daily intake

Sometimes get a bad rap as being unhealthy, but having some fats in your diet is essential for certain body and brain functions.

3 Types:

  • Saturated Fat - primarily in animal sources
  • Unsaturated Fat - primarily in plant sources
  • Trans Fat - found in hydrogenated oils, fried foods, processed foods - AVOID eating!

Although we do need some fats in our diets, fat that is not used for body functions will be stored as fat unless you are on a calorie restricted diet, in which case you will burn it for energy through the day. Fat is used as the primary source of energy for low-intensity activities such as walking, light jogging, low heart-rate cardio, and general daily activities.

You will burn roughly the same number of calories running vs. walking 1 mile, however the source where those calories is burned from will change. Running will pull more energy from your carbohydrates, where walking will pull a higher percentage of the needed energy from fat.

Foods for Fats: Lean Meats, fish, milk, dairy products, cheese, eggs, nuts, olive oil, cooking oils, seeds, nut butters, etc.


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Weight loss happens primarily in the kitchen. About 80% of your fat loss will be determined by what and how much you eat.

  • Quantity determines weight loss
  • Quality determines how you feel, how you perform, and overall health

For an extra boost in your fat loss program, avoid eating carbs within 3 hours of bedtime since any that don't get used will get stored as fat. This is not as important on a calorie restricted diet.

 

Tip for Muscle Building: "Force Feeding" - consume about 100-200 calories of simple sugars (100% fruit juice, natural honey - not candy) immediately following a muscle building workout (4-6, 8-10, or 12-15 rep ranges) and then do low level cardio for about 20-30 minutes.

The theory is that since your body can not burn and store fat at the same time then the simple carbs can not be stored and will be forced into the muscle, stopping further muscle breakdown and beginning the rebuilding process.


Protein Supplements and Post-Workout Shakes: 

What you eat ALL day long is important, however, your pre- and post-workout meals are two of the most important meals of the day. You should consume a moderate amount of carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours prior to working out, and then again as soon after your workout ends as possible to stop muscle breakdown and begin the rebuilding process.

Protein shakes are not necessary for building muscle, but having enough protein and carbohydrates is. Protein shakes can be a good way to ensure that you get your post workout protein in right away since they are convenient and do not require refrigeration, but needs to be consumed with complex carbs as well. A good post workout meal will contain both adequate amounts of protein and complex carbs. Some post-workout shakes contain both. Protein supplements are not needed, but can be a great way to make sure that you consume enough protein through your day if you otherwise have trouble consuming enough protein through the day.

For workouts that are lower intensity and/or cardio based, it is not as important to eat immediately after (though you should have a meal soon after completion), however, it is very important that you drink water.

 

To get a glimpse into what a common day of eating looks like in our house, visit our Healthy Diet Sample Plan page. Be on the lookout for additional information on meal planning being added to the site and the Sugar Detox Meal Plan that will be coming soon as a bonus when you sign up for a new subscription to the site!

Thanks for joining us again today. Please feel free to comment below with any questions about this episode or any other topics you would like to hear us discuss. We hope you have enjoyed the show and until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!

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