Carbs, Protein + Fats.
Have you tried a billion diets, detoxes and get slim quick fixes? Some may have worked, but one thing I'm certain of is that it wasn’t realistic or sustainable and the results flew out the door shortly after along with your dollars.
This blog is to set the confusing info related to carbs, proteins and fats (known as macronutrients) straight. Constantly getting thrown mixed messages walking down the grocery isles about what we should be eating, its no wonder this topic rattles everybody. Low fat, low carb, high fibre, low sugar this, light that, fat free, high protein, gluten free, low GI… gaaah my brain hurts just typing out that sentence. Here is all that mumbo jumbo explained in basic english so you can make your own decisions about what you should and shouldn't be eating.
The good news is having this info down packed will have a positive side effect to your weight loss and maintenance. Why? Because you're diet will consist of knowledge behind true health. So here you go, steal my knowledge and make educated decisions about what you chomp on. Let me know if you have any questions, comment below or shoot me an email here… I’m always happy to help!
If you need some recipe inspo from the things I write about below… sign up to the free Healthy Peach newsletter by going to WWW.HEALTHYPEACH.NET . This week I give loads of options for healthy and yummy meals with balanced carbs, protein and fats :D !!
Before we start on our wonderful journey through macronutrient land, one thing has to be set straight, your metabolism. The main aim when you’re trying to loose weight is speeding up your metabolism because ultimately the faster your metabolism is churning, the better and quicker you’re digesting food rather than having it sit in your intestinal tract for ages, utilising nutrients from your food, feeding your tissues and cells the adequate amount of nutrition whilst at the same time utilising energy and burning through your fat stores.
And, you want to do this naturally (not a fan of fat burners or metabolism boosters in pill or powder form… you may swell go eat a McDonalds cheeseburger because the amount of refined and unnatural products in them are about the same - maybe this topic can be another blog post). There are many ways to boost your metabolism, one of them being the type and quality of food you eat and having a perfect balance of macronutrients on your plate.
[enter stage : macronutrients]
Having a good amount of protein in your diet actually increases your metabolism, because it has to work harder to break it down compared to carbs and fat, this is called the thermogenic effect of food (TEF). The TEF of protein is 25%, meaning 25% of the calories of each gram of protein is burned off through digestion, whereas the TEF of carbohydrates is 5%, and only 2% for fats.
The best thing about protein is you can eat it all day, errryday. But the trick here is you want to consume lean protein (I have loads of recipes in this week newsletter), so take advantage of this metabolism booster by including lean protein in every meal.. If you don't eat enough protein, you're body will start breaking down your muscle in search for it. This means that yummy toned look you're after - no deal babe! Also the more protein you eat, the longer you feel full which will make it 10 times easier to say no to the blueberry muffin offer in the office tea room once 3pm hits [Winning!].
Lets clear one thing up here. Healthy fats do not make you fat, they make you burn fat. Bad fats on the other hand, well yes they make you accumulate fat and its not the easiest to zap away either. By integrating good fats into your diet daily, you're actually sweeping away the bad fats and toxins that are stuck in our bodies (hello and goodbye cellulite).
Bad fats are around us everywhere (waah!). They're totally unnecessary to us and hold absolutely no nutritional value to our bodies what-so-ever. In Fact, bad fats are extremely high in inflammatory properties and cause stress on our bodies. Stress then decreases our metabolism (think about your gut coming to a complete halt and not working), making us acidic and therefore leads us down the road of being vulnerable to disease, lethargy, mood swings, and…. you guessed it, WEIGHT GAIN!
What are bad fats? Animal fat like bacon and chicken skin, dairy and alcohol just to name a few. I went into detail about the benefits of going dairy free on my blog here, so have a re-read for a refresher.
I’ll end with the more confusing of the three, them damn carbs! Carbs are so misunderstood and I actually feel very sorry for them. I’m constantly cringing hearing about people on a new fad ‘low carb’ diet. It makes me want to shake them and say ‘Dewwwd, what are you doing?’ and follow on with shoving a banana down their throat. Yes your low carb fad may work in the short term but when you get to your goal weight and introduce carbs back into your life… well guess what you're heading straight back to square one, like real quick, and sometimes even worse. Plus who wants to never ever have carbs forever, you is stupid and crazy. Its not sustainable (trust me, coming from someone who has carb depleted over 7 times for fitness competitions, its not the coolest sitchy to be in).
I’ll make it super simple to understand… carbs are our quick energy source. We convert glucose to energy so quick and anything we don't need and is left over, gets stored as fat. This just means that the more we move around, walk, exercise etc, the more we use glucose. Sooo, get moving sister (or brother), easy!
There are different types of carbohydrates you need to get your head wrapped around so this is where you need to pay attention... Simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates and fibre.
These are the ones that take your body a very quick amount of time to find the sugar in it (to consequently convert into fat). Think of how quick it takes you to get a sugar rush from a handful of lollies - very quickly. These are baddd, stay away.
I often get clients saying to me ‘oh but what about sugar free items?’. Let me get tell you now, there aint no such thing as a free lunch. In other words ‘sugar free’ just means “ I’m assuming you don't know how to read a nutritional label, so I'm going to hide the sugar behind something called ‘colour (160a), anti cake agent (150), and mineral salts (341, 340, 451, 452)’ so buy me’ ”.
These days things that are packaged are full of artificial ingredients, fillers, preservatives and chemicals to make shelf life longer and for them to taste good without having to put ‘sugar’ in it but guess what, preservatives ARE sugars. Our food regulations allow food companies to make up weird and wonderful looking names on the back of a nutritional label to confuse you. The words “vegetable gum, natural flavours, anything with corn, apple juice concentrate, fruit puree” - ALL HIDDEN SUGARS + PRESERVATIVES.
So, whats the solution? Just stay away from packaged foods. I know initially this sounds ridiculous and more often than not, clients hear me say this and have a mini melt down and start looking for an escape route. But if you want to be serious about this - packaged food is not your friend its usually filled with simple carbs and artificial sugars. You want to eat foods that are natural and in their original form like home made items, veggies and fruit.
Fruit also has simple carbohydrates BUT its complemented with fibre. This is ok to eat (in moderation, 2 serves a day is good) because fibre momentarily sloooooows down your metabolism and digestion which means the sugar from the fruit hangs around giving you long lasting energy, not in and out like bad date. Oh and on the subject of dates… stay away from dried fruits. For example, sultanas… these babies have been sucked dry leaving you with nothing but the simple sugar content and hardly any fibre at all, so you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot thinking you’re being super healthy eating them [and exit the mixed nut and fruit mix from the pantry].
These require a little more energy to break down the (healthy) sugar content in it. These are an awesome source of energy and nutrition. These are your friend! Good sources include, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, wholemeal oats, rye, spelt, sweet potato and pumpkin. I try to stick to having these bad boys before 4pm. The latest I’ll ever exercise is 6pm so the energy content from complex carbs will still be circulating in my body from brekkie and lunch, which means I can use them! Anything past 4pm is kinda a shot in the foot because you're pretty much eating a heap of energy, to go to sleepn or relax on the couch. Not. Cool. Thats how you accumulate fat gurlfriend.
I hope my small (lol) explanation of macronutrients makes sense to you. It’s such a complex world and getting your head wrapped around it all can take a while. Figuring out what to cook can also be such a large task and then of course having the accountability of following through / being consistent - again, I know how hard it can be. Thats why Healthy Peach is here to help you every step of the way. You can grab some great recipe ideas by signing up to the free newsletter OR if you think you would benefit from doing your own nutritional coaching package, contact HP here!
Ps. All newsletter subscribers get a free consult with Healthy Peach this week, valued at $110. Doesn't matter where you live in the world, you can still claim your offer, join up now & don't miss out!
Love Chani x