Sometimes, we nutritionists appear to be speaking a different language. We are often involved in our own lives, filled with the tiny particulars of food and body that we fail to understand our own. We talk about macros or caloric intake as if everyone else knows what we’re talking about; when clients look at us with a blank stare or request us to take a moment and explain what we are doing, we realize that we’ve lost our way and are speaking in words that everyone does not understand.
The field of nutrition is awash with words, acronyms, slang, and other terms that those who are not well-versed in basic nutrition terminology may not comprehend. Therefore, today, I’m here to provide a bit of clarity.
The first is Caloric Intake. How many calories do you consume per day?
This might seem like an easy subject. We all know what calories are, do we not? Not necessarily. The majority of my clients look at calories as a threat and something that must be cut to the lowest level possible without actually going hungry. There is a belief in the idea that keeping calories low will help to keep your weight under control. If you’re overweight, this means that you lack the willpower or determination to restrict your consumption to a certain extent.
It makes me sad. Unfortunately, our society is teaching us that eating calories is not good. Diets that are extremely low in calories remain popular and encourage fast weight loss. We’ve all noticed that once we stop following these programs, the weight appears to increase. It’s not the fault of you.
If you are taking your calories below the amount your body needs for optimal functioning, the body must make use of reserves. You’ve probably heard of this before, but you may have now listened to this: your body can’t simply shed fat; it also is burning muscle.
The issue is that muscles burn calories while sitting at work or in your bed. Without it, you won’t be able to climb steps without getting tired, play with your children, or even keep your weight without difficulty. It is important to provide enough power (calories) in your muscles to make sure they don’t go away (exercise is just as important for maintaining muscle mass, but that’s another subject to discuss another day). It’s my responsibility to figure out the amount of calories your body requires to maintain your muscle mass and also to burn fat.
Second: Macros= Protein, Carbs, and
I am often asked what is more nutritious: protein, carbohydrates, or fat. It’s always the same. No one of these. They all are equally important and must be in the proper balance. The macronutrients we need are all three to allow our body to function effectively. Protein is crucial for the maintenance and repair of muscles. Carbs are our favorite and most efficient energy source, and fat is indispensable to maintaining hormone health and cell health. Each of them has a place.
And if you were to ask me, what is the best macro balance? I’d have a difficult answer. It’s the nexus of science and the place where most of the debate takes place. The truth is, there’s no definitive solution. Everybody is unique, and each person has special needs. The macro needs of a person are determined by fitness levels and genetic markers, as well as general health. It is my responsibility to discover what the optimal macro balance is for you.
Third: Micros= Vitamins and Minerals
I won’t go into the depth of vitamins and minerals since there’s plenty. It is believed that there are thirteen essential vitamins as well as seven additional minerals. However, this doesn’t cover phytochemicals or trace minerals (only very little is available about these, except that there are many, and they’re extremely vital in our lives).
The thing I can say is that their significance is not to be undervalued. It is better to obtain these nutrients from whole foods. Our bodies require minerals and vitamins in order to convert food into usable energy. Vitamins and supplements can be great to boost your health. However, a food item is composed of more than its components. There isn’t a product that can take on the full benefits of a single carrot. It is possible to shed excess weight by working macros and processed foods, but this is detrimental to overall health. As convenient as shakes and protein bars are, they shouldn’t be the mainstay of your food program.
I aid my clients in balancing healthy, whole foods, and sometimes convenience foods, too, with a menu program that works for them and their hectic schedules.
That’s it. These are the fundamentals. If you’re sitting inside my workstation and I forget to make use of the word macros, you will know exactly what I’m referring to.