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Diet

Nutrients in food – Macros and Micros

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As we said before food is one of the 5 principles of fitness so you need to understand how it works and how it can help you maintain optimal health, for this we will start understanding macronutrients and micronutrients, I´ll try to keep everything simple here and we´ll get in depth in future posts as we need to.

We know that the goal of any diet or nutrition program must be to give nutrients to your body. Food is not only fuel, it´s information and your body need the right fuel and the right information to function and perform at peak. I know I´ve said before that highly processed or refined foods are unhealthy and you need to avoid them as much as possible, now that you avoid all those unhealthy foods you need to start learning about the differences in whole, fresh food, we know that this healthy foods have the nutrients your body needs to function so we will divide them into macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients give energy to your body in the form of calories, you may have heard that “calories are calories” or “all calories are equal”, this is completely false, all three groups are different, your body will not respond the same way to protein than to fat and in each group you´ll find healthy and unhealthy options, your body will respond in different ways to this three groups of macronutrients and how healthy they are.

It´s not the same to have a cup of oatmeal than to have some Oreo cookies, for your body it´s completely different, it´s not the same to have some rice and broccoli than to have a donut and ice cream (even when I love ice cream). I know these examples look silly, but I want to make the point clear, not all calories are created equal. This is comparing healthy vs unhealthy options, if we compare healthy options from different macronutrient groups like avocado with chicken or oatmeal with nuts, they are still different, and your body uses them in different ways even if they are healthy options. This is the reason why the famous “calories in – calories out” advice doesn´t work.

Each macronutrient has its own purpose, to help your body function properly every day, I´ll be talking about each macronutrient on separate posts to give you all you need to know and keep it simple so that you can take your time to understand it.

The first we´re going to learn are macronutrients, macronutrients are divided in three: proteins, fats and carbohydrates and your body needs them in big quantities. Each group has its own primarily function making all of them a crucial part of your diet.

Micronutrients which your body needs in smaller quantities. These micronutrients are vitamins and minerals and they are essential for optimal health and preventing diseases, they all have an specific function in your body.

The best way to get this nutrients is through food but nowadays you need to consume a lot of highly nutritious food to get the amounts your body needs, the reason why is because the soil is depleted, you don´t get the same amount of nutrients in vegetables that some years ago, this is why many people decide to take supplements like multivitamins and minerals.

If you are deficient in any of them your body won´t work properly and in some cases the negative effects are not that bad; examples of this can be chapped lips,  hair loss but things can get really bad and cause a lot of health issues. Being deficient in micronutrients can make it harder for your body to maintain optimal health so it´s a lot easier that you get sick and this include chronic diseases.

All systems in your body from the digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, skeletal system, muscular system, etc; they all need vitamins and minerals, some of them may need more vitamins, others more minerals but they all need some amount and all this systems work in conjunction, talking about how your body works can get really complex so we´re going to keep it simple with what we need to know not only to reach your fitness goals but to live a better life.

I´ve said before that weight loss and fitness in general can be complex, the reason why is because you need to know and understand the job of each macronutrient and how your body responds to each, you also need to understand the job of micronutrients and make sure you´re not deficient, once we understand this information all fitness goals will be simple.

Knowing the job of each macronutrients is key because you need to manipulate them in certain ways to achieve your fitness goals, if you want to lose fat or gain lean muscle you´ll need to adjust your nutrition and make some slightly changes to support your goal.

For me macronutrients and micronutrients are far more important than calories, I don´t  consider a fitness program that only focuses on calories to be right because there are different ways to achieve the same amount of calories with different macronutrient ratios and each one will give us different results.

You may know by now that I love food, I love to cook and I consider food to be part of the culture and traditions of each country, I love traditional food and local cuisine. My approach to fitness and weight loss is to keep things simple by avoiding unhealthy, highly processed foods and to stick with whole fresh foods. I don´t count calories, I don´t count points, I don´t weight my food to set macro ratios I just have a clear idea of the amount of food and the types of food I´m eating.

When you understand each macronutrient and have an idea of the amount of food your body needs you´ll be able to enjoy food, while being able to maintain a healthy weight focusing on body composition in an enjoyable way.

Let us know if you have asked yourself what macros are and how our body uses them by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter

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

Pam

Diet

The importance of a good diet

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Food is one of the 5 principles of fitness and it´s really important because it´s the one you have more control over. If you just focus on this one your health, your weight and your life will improve dramatically.

I see a lot of people going through this, every time a girl talks about weight loss or they set a weight loss goal they think about going to the gym or some fitness class and diet, for diet they think about salads and chicken and the guys think about going to the gym, lifting weights for 12 to 15 reps and for diet they think about chicken, rice and broccoli. There are some variants to the diet and exercise routine but you got the idea.

Food plays an important role in our lives; it makes up a great part of social life. Whether we´re alone watching a movie or series while eating some of our favorite snacks or whether we´re having lunch or dinner with family, friends, coworkers or classmates or sometimes we´re just eating because we´re bored, stressed or depressed, every food choice we make has an impact on our body and health.

The importance of food is not only to help you reach your fitness goals, it´s not about following a restrictive diet for a period of time to lose weight and get in shape, it´s about developing healthy habits to make healthy choices most of the time to maintain optimal health, it´s a lifestyle that helps you live to your full potential and achieve amazing things.

Our relationship with food is not as good as it could be and it´s causing a lot of problems. Food can heal, and prevent diseases or it can make you sick, the choice is yours every single time you decide to eat something.

Food is data and fuel for your body, if you want to perform at peak every single day and if you want to live to your full potential you need to make the right food choices. Health is everything, it needs to be a priority but most of us do not make it a priority until something bad happens, we live surrounded by highly processed and junk foods loaded with refined sugars, trans fats, chemicals and toxins that are making us sick and we choose those options because they are convenient and many more reasons that we´re not aware of but we don´t think about the negative impact they have on our body and health.

We need to improve our relationship with food and make a shift on how we view it based on understanding how everything we eat works and the impact it has on our body positive or negative, we need to think about food as giving nutrients, data and energy to our muscle, cells, organs and entire body and realizing that you can still have delicious meals that are healthy full of nutrients that our body needs to work properly as opposed to eating processed foods based on taste and can´t stop consuming them because of the addiction they create (we´re going to talk about this on future posts).

Our unhealthy food choices based on highly processed foods are one of the causes of diseases like obesity, diabetes and even dementia, Alzheimer, cancer, etc; there´s no cure for most of this diseases but, it´s possible to prevent them if we develop healthy habits to live a healthy life and this doesn´t mean that you won´t be able to eat your favorite dish, snack or desert of course you can have them once a week, maybe less times or you can find healthy recipes and make those snack, dishes and desserts taste great and healthy so that you can enjoy them a lot more.

In most cases you don´t give too much attention to your food choices because you don´t understand how food works on your body and the impact it has so when you understand the negative impact of unhealthy foods and also the positive impact of whole healthy foods and learn the basics of nutrition it´s easier for you to make better choices.

You don´t need to follow restrictive diets if you don´t have to, if your goal is to use fitness as a tool to live the most amazing life then you just need to make sure that 80% or 90% of your food choices are based on whole, healthy foods and the ones that make you feel great. This may seem so strict or limited but if you actually have a lot of variety and options, the important thing here is that you follow 2 simple rules that we´re going to talk about in future posts.

I don´t like the word diet because it means that you´re going to eliminate some foods, especially the ones you love for a certain period of time making it restrictive in your food choices and focusing on calories. I´m not against any nutrition program or “diet” whether it´s vegan, vegetarian, paleo, ketogenic, carnivore as long as they are well formulated and healthy. I consider all those options to be tools to help you live your best life possible and your nutrition program or diet doesn´t need to follow any of them strictly for long periods of time, it´s not about trying to fit into one of the fad or commercial diets, the most important thing you need to do is avoid unhealthy options (highly refined and processed foods like sweets, sugars, candies, cakes, sodas, junk, fast foods, unhealthy seed oils) and stick to whole foods then from those whole fresh foods you can be more restrictive by avoiding foods that make you feel sick causing bloating, inflammation, etc.

Since foods is highly important for optimal health to live an incredible life you can start today making better choices, if you like to have some unhealthy snacks between meals (this includes “healthy bars”) skip those snacks or change them for something healthy, whole and fresh like pumpkin seeds, pecans or almonds.

Let us know which is your favorite unhealthy snack and whether you´re going to skip it or change it for a healthy option, if you change it for a healthy options which one you choose? Leave your comment down below and on Twitter.

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

Pam

Diet

The big problem with sugar.

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Different diets come out and become viral, some guys try them while other critique them claiming they´re unhealthy, but millions of people consume high amounts of sugar per day and it seems to be the least of the matter.

Obesity and overweight are increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is our lifestyle and one of them is the amount of unhealthy food we eat which has a lot of sugar. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, we´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose and many others. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contained in foods is so high and I´m not only talking about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars.

When we eat foods high in sugar, unhealthy oils and trans fats we´ll want to continue eating more of them because they are empty calories, there are no nutrients and there´s no way to stop our brain of thinking or sending signals that we are hungry until we give it the nutrients it needs.

This is what happens when we eat sugar, insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar by getting glucose out of the bloodstream to the cells, when we consume sugar the glucose in the bloodstream goes up and insulin goes up to regulate it and bring it down, over time our body gets tired and don´t know exactly what to do and the result is low blood sugar, this is the first step to diabetes, many people are on this level and don´t know it, our body sends  signals like cravings specially for sweets, everything we eat has an effect on our health and mood.

The spike on highly processed foods with hidden sugar is creating an obesity epidemic in many countries, around 30% to 40% of kids in some countries are overweight or have obesity and diabetes as they grow older the risk increases, diseases get worse and in some cases lead to death. The amounts of sugar consumed per day goes between 25 to 30 teaspoons a day sometimes even 35 teaspoons, that´s a lot considering that our bodies don´t need it.

I believe we can prevent some diseases and lower obesity and overweight by changing our lifestyle and developing healthy habits, just by changing what we eat the benefits are amazing, it´s not only about reducing calories, it´s about what we eat and the impact it has on our body and health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats plus the chemicals or ingredients added to those foods are the cause of many diseases and create a vicious cycle that is so hard to stop. We´re addicted to them.

The goal is to avoid as much as possible all unhealthy food, avoid sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast food and stick with real, whole fresh food, just by doing this the results in how we feel and how we look will be amazing.

There´s no reason to try to follow a very restrictive diet like low carbohydrate, ketogenic or any other if we still eat junk or fast food, once we eliminate or avoid this foods then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for each of us.

If we want to live healthier and happier and help all the people around us we need to change what we eat and eating healthy food is the first step, reducing sugar is a most, sugar is the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when we start to eliminate it from our diet our mind will trick us making us think that we need it, it´s like giving up any other addiction.

Even if we´re not following any famous diet like ketogenic or high protein, vegetarian, etc; when we eliminate or avoid as much as possible sweets, junk, processed and fast food from our nutrition we start living healthier and the results will come. There are some healthy carbohydrates we can eat which I´ll explain in other post, but for now, and to keep things simple we just need to know and understand that processed sugar is bad so we need to eliminate it from our nutrition program for our health and fitness goals, the best way to do it is by avoiding sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if most of what you eat is whole fresh food or unhealthy highly processed foods.

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

Diet

Prebiotics and Probiotics

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Our body is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. Both play an important role on our health in general and they have different functions in our gut and digestive system.

Most of us do not pay attention to our gut health but if there´s something wrong it can lead to health issues that we never thought could be related. Some experts are talking about our gut as being our second brain and with so many new studies we can say that we need to focus on overall optimal health and that includes our gut.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our digestive system especially in our intestines and help with digestion therefore doctors and many people suggest them when we have digestive problems or after we take antibiotics which can kill the good bacteria. It´s important that we pay attention to the quality of supplements or products from where we´re getting probiotics because they are very fragile.

In some cases, like when we´ve been taking antibiotics taking probiotics supplements is helpful to repopulate the colon and they can also be helpful at preventing side effects of medications and they can help prevent issues on our digestive system.

Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and tempeh.

Prebiotics are fiber that feed the good bacteria living in our gut. They help our good bacteria to grow and they are also helpful at supporting our digestive system, control our weight and overall health.

Prebiotics are found in foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes.

Some people say that our gut is our “second brain” because of the communication between our brain and our digestive system, this two-way communication control our eating behavior, we can feel full, satisfied, hungry which has an impact on our weight and it also impacts the quality of sleep.

The gut has a big impact on our overall well-being how we feel, how we sleep, our energy level, how clear we think, our ability to focus and performance throughout the day.

A healthy diet based on whole, fresh foods that include healthy fats, healthy fibers, moderate proteins and low carbohydrates is a great option and according to the type of diet we follow we need to find foods that contain pre and probiotics or if we can´t get them through food we can use supplements.

Getting enough fiber from a healthy nutrition program is simple, vegetables, fruits and grains are some options for people following a ketogenic diet may be harder to get enough fiber since they eliminate all grains but vegetables are still an option, some fruits like berries and chia seeds.

For priobiotcs many people use to have yogurt or kefir which are good options but some of us avoid them because they are high in carbohydrates, one option is to find yogurt or kefir options low in carbohydrates, for those who eliminate dairy of their diet then fermented foods are one options or taking probiotics from supplements is another option.

For the past months and year mental health problems have increased and many experts recommend changing the diet and improving gut health, people with depression and anxiety who focus on improving their gut health by increasing the intake of fiber, healthy fats, moderate protein and lowering processed and refined foods have seen positive results.

Prebiotics and probiotics along with fiber play an important role on our gut health which is something we need to consider optimizing our health and not only focus on the 3 macros.

We´ll talk in a future post about the benefits or fermented foods and how they can help us lose weight, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal gut health.

If there´s something you want to know more about or if you have any doubts, questions or suggestions leave a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account, we want to hear from you (well, read from you) so that we can help you achieve your weight loss goal and improve your health.

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