nutrition 101

At MAX-40 FITNESS, We don’t give in to fad diets because the true key to lifelong health is balanced nutrition. This means having a variety of foods with a balanced ratio of calories, macronutrients, and micro

nutrients. Let’s take a minute to chat about each of these terms.

Do Calories Count?

The short answer: Yes. The long answer: A calorie is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a gram of water by one degree Celsius. Essentially, it’s a unit of energy released from the food that powers the body. Your body needs calories to function — breathing, digesting, maintaining organs, and systems — and without enough calories, muscle breaks down, organs stop functioning, and your heart (a muscle) is the most vulnerable and can begin to break down. Food is fuel for your body! When you eat food, your body will do one of three things — use it, store it, or get rid of it. Your body USES the energy from the food to run its vital processes. If you intake more energy than you need, your body may STORE some for future use– perhaps as glycogen in the muscles to build muscle mass — which is a good thing. But if you consistently give your body more than it needs (and specifically from processed foods that the body can’t use as efficiently) it’ll store as fat — the bad fat none of us want. For most of us, it ends up in our stomachs or our hips and thighs. If you eat too few calories, you will find that your body stops losing and starts to STORE. Then, whatever the body doesn’t need or is done using, it will get rid of through excretion.

What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts and are what make up the caloric content of a food. There are three macronutrients:

  • Protein = four calories per gram

  • Carbohydrates = four calories per gram

  • Fat = nine calories per gram

Why is protein important?

Adequate amounts of protein are required for building and maintaining muscle mass, tissue repair, growth, and immune function. Protein is primarily found in meats, fish, poultry, nuts, dairy, and legumes.

Why are carbohydrates important?

Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of fuel and are easily used to create

energy. Fiber-rich carbohydrates are important for intestinal health and waste elimination.

Carbohydrates can be stored in your muscles to be later used for energy. Carbohydrates are mostly found in fruits, breads, grains, potatoes, beans, and veggies.

Why are fats important?

Fat helps to maintain cell membranes, create energy, absorb certain vitamins, and support normal growth, and are good

for your heart health. It’s important to choose the “healthy fats” such as olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, walnut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seed, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, and some cheeses. Try to eliminate trans-fat (generally found in processed foods) completely from your diet and watch the amount of saturated fat (from fatty meats) you consume as well.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients (as compared to the macronutrients of protein, carbs, and fat) are comprised of VITAMINS and MINERALS. These vitamins and minerals are required to ensure growth, physical well-being, and a normal metabolism.

  • VITAMINS are essential organic nutrients mainly obtained through food. Most are not made in the body or are made in insufficient amounts. A few examples: vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin, B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

  • MINERALS are inorganic nutrients that include trace elements. Like vitamins, minerals are found in small quantities within the body and they are obtained from a wide variety of foods. Some examples: magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. No single food contains all the vitamins and minerals we need and, therefore, a balanced and varied diet is necessary for an adequate intake. Whether your goal is to lose weight or increase performance, you need to be sure to get the micronutrients you need to keep your body functioning at OPTIMAL levels.

Who doesn’t want even BETTER results while knowing their body is getting everything it needs to run like a fine-tuned Ferrari?!?

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