Basic Nutrition

BASIC NUTRITION FOR A HEALTHY AND FIT BODY

MACRONUTRIENTS: PROTEIN, CARBOHYDRATES, FATS, WATER

The key to being healthy and having a fit and toned body is having the proper nutrition to fuel the needs of an active lifestyle. Our diets include three essential nutrients that are defined as nutrients that must be obtained from our diets. These are called macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, fats, proteins and even water.

The acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) is 45-65% for carbohydrates, 10-35% for protein, and 20-35% for fat. In America, carbohydrates dominate the average persons diet, however, the ratio of refined simple carbohydrates to complex fibrous carbohydrates is very high and proven to increase risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. As a fitness specialist and athlete, I do not agree with the recommended percentages for fat, protein, and carbohydrates. When determining your macronutrient breakdown it is important to take into account your body composition, activity level, genetics, and any specific health needs or allergies. For fitness enthusiasts wanting to build lean muscle mass, tone up and lose body fat it is necessary to intake a higher percentage of protein than recommended and a lower percentage of carbohydrates. Also, I believe in incorporating healthy fats including mono- and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.

The body first utilizes carbohydrates for energy and function, because it is the preferred source of energy for the nervous system, brain, kidneys, and muscles. Carbohydrates are easiest to breakdown to glucose and can be utilized by all cells in the body for energy and can be stored in muscles and liver for later use during times of exercise or in between meals. However, in order to lose body fat, gain lean muscle mass, and lose weight, we must encourage our body to use the stored fat in our bodies as its primary source of energy. How do you do this? Well, the first step is cutting out the majority of carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates from your diet. This will force the body to utilize its next preferred source of energy, which is fat stored in the adipose tissues of our bodies. Fat is actually the most concentrated source of energy and provides 9 Calories of energy per gram of fat for our body compared to 4 Calories per gram of carbohydrate. The last source of energy that our body uses comes from protein, specifically the amino acids that make up protein. These can be found in our diet within meat, fish, eggs, soy and some plant sources and also stored in the liver and muscle tissues. Therefore, a diet high in protein, while moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates will encourage the body to burn all of the carbohydrates and fats consumed first and the protein will be used in times of deficit to prevent muscle tissue breakdown for energy. If you follow these simple rules when choosing what to eat, and incorporating moderate physical activity weekly, you will lose weight, decrease your overall body fat percentage and gain lean muscle mass.

Please note that every person’s metabolism is different and based on a person’s activity level their breakdown of macronutrients will differ. Also, low carbohydrate diets will also be low in fiber which is important in maintaining regularity in our digestive tracts. Therefore, fiber supplements may be necessary or you may need to include plenty of leafy greens and whole grains when choosing carbohydrate sources. Lastly, drink tons and tons of water to help flush out toxins and maintain blood pH and the overall function of our cells.

Fit N' Spicy fitness is a breath of fresh air in the fitness world. A hidden gem if you will.. Coach Chrissy has a deep passion for fitness and nutrition and her encouragement and enthusiasm was my first and now continual impression of her. Helping me to achieve my fitness goals only begins to describe the positive experiences I have had since starting with her two years ago. She is very personable and knowledgable and is easily reached, usually responding to my messages within the hour. I am so thankful she is my trainer and my go to girl for nutrition advisement- even sending me grocery lists when she is vacationing! I highly recommend a consultation with her! img_4327
Kathleen - Client