Eat fat get fat. Eat protein get big muscles. Eat a lot of carbs and you’ll get soft in the middle. As is the case with most myths, there is a hint of truth behind these commonly held beliefs, but for the most part, our macros are misunderstood.
Let’s discuss how to maximize our macros in this week’s tip.
Fat – If fat made us fat, then how do so many achieve success on Keto?
Two important things to understand about fat.
Rule #1. There are different kinds of fat and they aren’t all equal. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and typically are known as the "bad fats". Think bacon grease. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are generally known as the "healthy fats". Think oils. Then there are also manufactured fats that can be found in processed foods. These come under a variety of ever changes names so pay attention to labels. When choosing your fats aim for the unsaturated choice and stay away from processed foods.
Rule #2. Fat has 9 calories per gram whereas carbs and proteins each have 4 calories per gram. Simply put, you get fewer calories per gram on a high-fat diet. This is why you often see fasting as part of the Keto and high-fat diets.
Protein – If high protein diets made everyone bulky with muscle then how did so many get skinny on Atkins? Also, if high protein intake is required to get big muscles how can a bull, a gorilla, and world-record-holding strong man Patrik Baboumian get big on plant power?
Two important things to understand about protein.
Rule #1. Protein breaks down slower in the body and is generally more “filling” than carbohydrates but has 5 fewer calories per gram than fat and equal calories to carbs.
Rule#2. Proteins aren’t just found in animal products. You can get the essential amino acids needed entirely from a vegetarian-only diet. Protein is found in red beans, nuts, rice, whole grains, and all sorts of veggies!
Carbs- If carbs made us soft then how does our trainer Shane maintain less than 10% body fat on a high carb diet?
Two important things to understand about carbohydrates.
Rule #1. Carbohydrates break down into glucose. Glucose binds together in “bundles” called glycogen and is stored in the muscles for energy as fuel for the body. Excess glycogen however can convert to adipose tissue, aka fat.
Rule #2. There are healthy and unhealthy carbs. Healthy carbs tend to break down slower and be higher in fiber content. As is the case with all good diets stay away from processed foods and added sugar. When you eat sugar, it hits the liver so quickly that it can’t convert it all which leads to excess glucose and glycogen production. Eating added sugar is like hooking yourself up to an IV of fat production!
So, if we want to maximize our macros we need to avoid processed foods that often circumvent the processes by which our body breaks down macronutrients. If you can pick it, grow it, and identify it as a plant or animal then chances are you are maximizing your nutrients. Keep your calories under what you burn and you will lose weight. If you want to grow muscle make sure you have enough calories to fuel your body's needed recovery. Last, but not least, stay the hell away from added sugar which is the surest way to cannonball any fitness goal!
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