Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

diets

Nutrition

Macronutrients – Fats

03 Fats
views
154

How many times have you heard that fats are bad for us? that they make us gain weight and increase cholesterol?

The first macronutrient we´re going to talk about is fat and the reason why is because it has been involved in myths regarding health issues.

For the past years fats have been considered the cause of many health problems and diseases so experts recommended to lower fats and increased carbohydrates and that´s what we did but when we made those changes to our diet some diseases increased. The truth is that fat is a more efficient source of energy than carbohydrates and our brain needs fat. In reality our entire body including our brain loves fat and perform a lot better when they thrive with fat. Of course there are some unhealthy fats that we need to eliminate which we´re going to see in a minute and those unhealthy fats are the cause of health problems.

One of the biggest reasons why people don´t consume it is because they´re afraid that eating too much fat will make them fat, this is not true. If we eat unhealthy foods like simple carbohydrates and trans fats and we eat a lot we´ll gain weight and we´ll get fat, if we eat healthy foods it´ll be very hard to gain weight because it´s harder to over eat.

And also because the industries had made us believe that fats were bad and were causing health problems, we´ve been brainwashed to the idea that we need to follow a low-fat high carbohydrate diet.

Fats come in the form of triglycerides from the food we eat and they are also stored as triglycerides in our body. They are formed of a molecule of glycerol connected to three fatty acids. There are 9 calories in one gram of fat. Fats are also called lipids and their main function is to form the membranes of each cell of our body, they are divided into saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. A molecule of fat can have up to eighty carbon atoms.

Saturated fats.- Each carbon atom can form a bond with four other molecules, two of this bonds will always be use to connect it to the next carbon in the chain, if the remaining two bonds are connected to hydrogen it is called saturated fat. This saturated fats are solid at room temperature an example is butter. If we follow a balanced nutrition program that include  high carbohydrates and we consume a lot of this type of fats our body is not efficient at breaking them down and digesting them.

Unsaturated fats.- If the remaining bonds do not bond with hydrogen molecules it is called unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and can be divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats have a single double bond and include olive oil, avocado oil.

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond and include fish oil.

Trans fat.- This fats are created from unsaturated fats by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature and they are produced or used by food chains and processed foods. This are the fats we need to avoid due to their negative effects on health.

Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that we need to obtain from nutrition. They are classified as polyunsaturated omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.

The amount of fat we need will vary depending of the nutrition program we are following, for a ketogenic diet  70% to 75% most come from fat, around 5% – 10% carbohydrates and the rest of protein. I want to make something clear here, if you are on a ketogenic diet, we must eat all healthy fats, the only ones you must avoid are trans fats.

Fats are a great option to keep us satisfied and full, we can have some almonds or nuts as a snack or add avocado to our meals to keep us full longer.

If you like to eat at restaurants like I do you need to watch out at how meals are cooked, many of them use dips and sausages high in trans fats and sugars and some cook with a lot of butter, even when butter is good if your goal is fat loss you want to be in a caloric deficit and fats are high.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

What we need to know about leptin

13
views
106

Most traditional or commercial weight loss programs focus on calories, they make you follow diets too low in calories and the workouts are based on cardio or circuit training to lose as much weight as possible but when you stop following the program you start gaining all the weight back and the reason is simple, hormones and metabolism.

Our goal is to help you get an amazing physique and sustain it effortless and to do that we need to focus on what matters which is increasing metabolism and managing our hormones in a good way, leptin is one of those hormones.

Leptin is the satiety hormones and it´s job is to tell us when we´ve eaten enough and we need to stop. This hormone can be triggered by several factors and if we triggered it the wrong way by doing the wrong things then it won´t be doing its job effectively and some of our unhealthy habits are causing problems  like lack or poor quality sleep, which reduces leptin which is why we are hungry and have more cravings during the day and this is one of the short term effects of poor sleep.

When leptin is low it won´t send the message to our brain that we are full and we need to stop eating, on the contrary we will eat more in each meal and we´ll feel hungry throughout the day this is why weight gain is related to lack of sleep.

Our weight more specifically body composition. Fat cells increase leptin so the more fat we have the higher this hormone will be.

As with insulin there´s something called leptin resistance which is when our body produces too much leptin in this case the fat cells when we are obese or overweight and it gets to a point where the receptors block all that leptin so it can´t do its job and instead of getting signals that we are satisfied we feel hungry.

So as you can see, weight loss is not as simple as eat less and move more, there are other things that come into play, what you can do to improve leptin if it´s low is start by getting enough good quality sleep every night, this is a simple tool that gives a lot of benefits and makes everything easier.

If you are overweight the best thing you can do is reduce insulin, we´ve talked about insulin in other posts and by improving insulin is easier to burn fat, when you start losing weight and getting rid of that excess fat, leptin also start to lower, you can do this by trying some type of intermittent fasting like limiting your meals to 2 meals per day in an 8 hour window, another way is by reducing carbohydrates and follow a low carbohydrate, moderate and high fat diet like ketogenic for a period of time. Exercise also helps lower insulin specially HIIT.

What I recommend if your nutrition program is based on unhealthy foods, you´ll need to eliminate those unhealthy foods and focus on eating meals cooked with fresh ingredients and try intermittent fasting, go for 2 meals a day you can have breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. Do this for 4 to 6 weeks and see the results and how you feel.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam