As many of us return from holiday break, which tend to be synonymous to family, friends, and the best part… Lots of food! Thought this would be the perfect time to speak about a necessity of nutrition and the ability for our bodies to function.
This topic will cover energy and the form of how our bodies receive it…
In this article:
Articles coming soon:
- Part 1. Macronutrients: Protein
- Part 2. Macronutrients: Carbohydrates
- Part 3. Macronutrients: Fats
UNDERSTANDING FOOD CALORIES
Most foods & drinks we consume provide calories. We need calories for energy, which is used towards general focus, exercise, digestion, as well as simply lounging. Our bodies require calories to survive. How many we need, depends on health goals even maintenance. Our caloric needs will vary throughout life.
Health Goal Examples:
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Gain
- Sports Performance
- Medical Conditions
HOW WE INTAKE FOOD CALORIES
Calories come in different forms such as protein, carbohydrates, & fats. These are called “macronutrients” or “macros”. Each macronutrient plays an important role in our body which enable us to function.
We’ll cover macro & micronutrients over the course of our upcoming blogs.
What Are Macronutrients?
- Protein: Provides 4 calories per gram of protein
- Build & repair tissue (organ/muscle)
- Carbohydrates: Provides 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate
- Provides glucose (our body’s preferred energy source)
- Fats: Provides 9 calories per gram of fat
- Hormone secretion & regulation (helps transport nutrients)
IS COUNTING CALORIES NECESSARY?
Unless you’re an athlete intensely training for a sport or health goal driven via weight loss/muscle gain, I firmly believe this is not necessary and will explain.
In the case which you are needing to count calories, keep in mind the objective is to remain within the necessary caloric range.
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle can be easier than most think. The key is portion control and utilizing hand size measurements as a guide.
Follow these recommended daily servings for each food group:
* Serving Size 1
Protein: 5 ½ ounces
Eat a mix of lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts & seeds.
Grains: 6 ounces
Dairy: 3 cups (24 ounces)
Choose low-fat milk, fat-free milk, or yogurt to reduce saturated fat intake.
Fruits: 2 cups (16 ounces)
Vegetables: 2.5 cups (20 ounces)
Eat a variety of colored vegetables.