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Nutrition

The system is wrong

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Looking at how nutritionist or dietitians design diets for their clients and the food you are offered at hospitals I realize that the whole system is wrong.

Nutritionist and dietitians base their diets on the famous food pyramid we all know that recommend high complex carbohydrates and very low fat meals, this foods are the base of the pyramid but even when this foods have some fiber they´re not the best option.

For people trying to lose weight it´s obvious that they´re obese or overweight and the chances of them being insulin resistant are high meaning that their bodies do not use carbohydrates efficiently. The focus and goal must be to improve insulin making it easier to lose fat, once insulin is improved and the person is insulin sensitive meaning their bodies use carbohydrates more effectively it´ll be easier for them to lose fat consistently.

The best way to improve insulin is to lower carbohydrates, increase protein and increase healthy fats, the macronutrient ratios will depend on the type of diet the person wants to follow, a diet they can stick with for a lifestyle. The hardest part is always the beginning where people need to be more discipline and focus on keeping carbohydrates low  to improve insulin and start losing some weight.

Diets on hospitals are also based on the food pyramid which is not the best option. There are many studies and research done that proves that junk and processed foods and also simple carbohydrates and sugars are the cause of many diseases nowadays in hospitals most of the food is processed like bread, cookies, box juice, box cereal and the prepared meals are low in fats. Hospital diets are high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats.

It doesn´t make sense to me that doctors, nurses, nutritionist and people who are supposed to take care of patients and who are supposed to help people live healthier, live better and live longer offer this meals. It doesn´t make sense to me why they keep treating the symptoms instead of looking for the cause, they treat the symptoms and hide the rest of the story. In many cases the cause of many diseases is our lifestyle, no physical activity, high sugars and unhealthy fats, high levels of stress and poor sleep. I believe that if we focus on improving our lifestyle and developing healthy habits we can prevent some of this diseases.

I´m not saying that we all need to follow a low carbohydrate diet or follow a strict ketogenic diet, what I´m saying is that some people won´t do well on a high or moderate carbohydrate diet so reducing carbohydrates for a period of time is helpful then a more balanced diet is best. Most people tend to have amazing results in a more balanced diet where carbohydrates are around 40% to 45% of total calories, protein 40% and fats 20%, this numbers will vary from person to person but can be used as a guide.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a most if you want to make the best out of your life. Nutrition and exercise are key for living healthy, our health most be our priority; making the commitment to live a better life  by developing habits that make our lives more enjoyable gives us more freedom and we make better choices. We can start making better choices by avoiding unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed and fast food. When we focus on meals prepared with fresh ingredients we can´t go wrong.

It´s not only about us, it´s about the people we love. If you want to take care of your family, your friends and the people you love you need to take care of yourself first. If you are healthy, if you feel great you can then help the people around you and inspire them.

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

Fitness goals

What we eat and how much we eat both have an impact on our results

13 What you eat and how much you eat
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Not all food is equal  we can divide food in three macro nutrients and there are healthy and unhealthy options in each of them. What you eat and how much you eat are both highly important for any fitness goal and for a better life.

Nowadays food is everywhere and the portion sizes and packages are huge so it´s not a surprise that we´re eating too much of the wrong food and it´s also not a surprise either that there are so many diseases that were uncommon years ago and I believe that many of this diseases are thanks to our unhealthy lifestyles.

We know that unhealthy foods have a negative impact on our health, they affect our mood, energy, focus, our feelings and emotions and the way they work on your body and brain make them so hard to avoid them, instead of limiting we eat more and more.

What you eat and how much you eat both have an impact on your fitness goals and your health, if you have a healthy lifestyle where you avoid sweets, junk, processed and fast food as much as possible, when you eat some of this unhealthy foods your body won´t get the same responds compare to someone who eats this foods on a daily basis.

Most of our diets are based on junk, processed and fast foods, companies make packages bigger as a strategy to sell more the “to share” only makes us eat more I´ve seen most people eating the whole package by themselves without sharing, if you buy some of this package make sure that you “share” with the people around you so that you don´t gain weight alone 😉

It´s so easy to over eat junk and processed food, but it´s so hard to over eat a salad or chicken, when you eat junk food you´re not giving nutrients to your body so your brain send signals of hunger until you give them the nutrients it needs so you´re not actually hungry your body needs nutrients.

When you change what you eat you´ll reduce the amount of food you eat at the same time, if you change your chips or cookies for some almonds or cheese you´ll end up eating less, if you change the pizza and macaronis for a dish cooked with fresh ingredient you´ll eat less. Many people don´t think that just changing fast food for meals cooked with fresh natural ingredients makes a huge difference and it actually does.

There´s no reason to follow strict diets when there are basic things that are more important and that have a bigger impact on your weight, your health and your life. There are so many guys and girls claiming that they have the best diet or fighting for which diet is better and they try to put you on a ketogenic or a very high carbohydrate diet. Let’s keep things simple, we all know which foods are healthy and which ones are unhealthy, the problem is why even when you know which are the best options you keep making the wrong choice time and time again.

So don´t overcomplicate things, don´t try to follow any strict crazy diet low in calories, focus on making the right choices, we need to cook more. Some years ago food was a way to keep family and friends together, they all cooked the meals and sit at the table to spend some time together, try to cook more, cook your meals or if you can´t cook go to a local restaurant, those small local cuisines that prepare meals every day with fresh ingredients are much better than fast food restaurants.

I’d love to see guys and girls cooking more for their families and friends and spending more time together eating traditional dishes to keep their culture alive. Avoid having sweets, junk, processed and fast food at home at the office, keep those foods when you´re out and for special occasions.

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

The food pyramid

13 Food pyramid
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Some years ago the USDA launches its food pyramid recommending people to consume 6 to 11 servings of carbohydrates from bread, cereal, pasta, rice and grains, while using fats and oils “sparingly”. What we need to do is to turn that pyramid upside down or at least reduce carbohydrates. We do not need all those servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta and grains, if you are insulin resistant or diabetes it will be better to avoid them at least for a period of time. If you have fat to lose and you spend most of your day sitting on a chair at the office there is no reason why you should be consuming those amounts of carbohydrates.

I´m not telling you to eliminate these type of foods completely from you nutrition program or that you won´t eat any of them again. My objective is to educate you about the negative long term effects this products have on your health.

All this problem about the food pyramid, food groups, and how a healthy plate or dish must look like, started a few years ago when people in the industry blamed fats as being the culprit of many diseases, so companies took advantage of this and created “low-fat” products which are worst than normal versions, this “low-fat” products have more sugar to add taste and flavor. They also created amazing marketing campaigns to sell us their “low-fat healthy products”.

There were some few people on the industry trying to show the truth, trying to make people understand that fat is not the culprit, and that sugar was and is the cause of many diseases like high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. The problem here was that companies want your money, they live from your money and if they make you think they´re selling you healthy products you will buy them and sugar creates and addiction so by adding more sugar, they´ll make sure  you keep consuming their products.

With all this people fighting and creating campaigns in favor of sugar (most of them) and some in favor of fat, the food pyramid was launched as you can see in favor of sugar and blaming fats, when the food pyramid was launched and companies created their marketing campaigns we get bombarded with all this information about how bad are fats and this is when the problem got worse. More people got sick.

The companies will continue selling high sugar and highly processed products loaded with chemicals, it´s clear that we´re consuming a lot more carbohydrates than our bodies need, a normal diet nowadays is based on simple carbohydrates, trans fats and chemicals which is the worst combination.

Most people still believe and trust a 100% this food pyramid, doctors, nutritionist and people on the industry. What we can do is research, continue reading and find out what´s the truth and what works best for you.

I´m not telling you to follow a ketogenic nutrition program where healthy fats are between 70%, proteins 20% and carbohydrates 10%, I´m not telling to eat only fats and eliminate completely all carbohydrates, I´m not telling you to follow one diet that will work great for all people, I´m sharing with you all I know so that you can understand and find out what´s the best option for you. The food pyramid as we know it is not the best or healthiest option and it can cause more problems to people with insulin resistant.

Our body needs healthy fats, fiber and protein if we make our meals based on healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, fish, carbohydrates from different vegetables to get fiber and meat and eggs for protein we will feel a lot better and our health will improve.

Your health must be your priority, taking care of you and your body must be first, then you can help and take care of loved ones and people around you.

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

Should we count calories or macros?

12 Count calories or macros
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So many guys and girls get stressed counting calories or points, most people on the fitness industry are more interested on calories and that´s all they talk about, if we focus on nutrients, then macros are more important.

Counting calories is not the best option for any fitness goal, not all calories are created equal and each macronutrient has its function on your body even when they are all healthy options, it´s not the same to have some meat than to have rice or almonds, if you count calories you can´t have complete control of what you eat and what your body does.

Each macronutrient has its own functions which in conjunction helps our body to work and perform the best way possible. If you understand the job of each macronutrient, how you can manipulate them and how to set macronutrient ratios correctly you´ll see that it´s more important to set macronutrient ratios than to count calories.

If you only focus on counting calories your diet may not be adequate for you, if you are insulin resistant and you are only counting calories, your diet may be high in carbohydrates which can worsen insulin and make it harder to lose fat, if you are insulin sensitive and are very active you may need more energy at certain meals, just by counting calories you may be eating less carbohydrates than you need on the meals that are needed.

When you focus on calories you are restricting yourself and not paying attention to what´s more important, to how things work and how your body responds to different macronutrients, at the end of the day macronutrients are the ones that get the job done, if you just focus on calories you will plateau even if you keep adjusting calories, focusing on macros give you the chance to adjust your macronutrient ratios as you progress without hitting plateaus and you are making sure that your body gets everything it needs to work efficiently and to get you where you want.

Focusing on macros and setting macronutrients is a more advanced level compare to just counting calories but is the right thing to do. You need to understand how each macronutrient works, have a clear goal and be able to measure your progress, protein is needed to repair and build tissue, also for hair, nails; fats are needed for energy, cells and hormonal function, carbohydrates are needed for energy. This are the basic functions of each macronutrient explained in a simple way.

To set your macronutrient ratios you need to consider your daily activities and workout, if you have a 9 to 5 job where you spend most of the time sitting in front of a computer you don´t need a lot of carbohydrates compared to someone with a more active job.

We need to focus on health and from this stand point counting and setting macro nutrient ratios is more important than counting calories and it´s not that hard to do, you need to have a clear idea of what you are eating and the amount of food you are eating, then you need to know how much you really need so you´ll need to read labels and use tools like portion control for a period of time until you get used to how things look like, once you have an idea you don´t need to be measuring and counting everything.

Life is to enjoy it not to spend most of our time focusing on training and food, do not let you life revolves on counting food and the gym, do not get obsessed with it, you need to be more discipline at the beginning to develop good habits and to know what you are doing then you can have a lot more freedom. It´s easy to count macros, portion control gives you a clear idea of how much you are eating and it´ll makes your life easier, it´s more important to focus on the nutrients your body needs and the times it needs them.

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 you need to know about portion control

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I see many people who are not professional athletes and who don´t compete trying to be perfect counting calories, most of them just want to lose weight and get in shape. If the goal is just to get in shape and sustain it, then it´s not necessary to be perfect counting calories or macros. The best tool to use here is portion control.

Having a clear idea of portions will make it easier for you to achieve your goals and you´ll be considering what´s important.

Focusing on the most important things is the best way to achieve your goals and finding ways to make it simple will reduce stress and obsession, portion control is one of those things, as I´ve said before it is better to count macros than to count calories but weighting your food every meal is impossible so a way to get it done is with portion control.

Knowing what a portion size really looks like and getting it accurate is hard at the beginning, most of us are really bad at portion sizes we don´t know what a cup of rice or 4 ounces of meat look like and if you take your plate and take a look thinking on portion control and you measure it you´ll see you´re eating more than you need, this may be one of the reasons you why you can´t get to your goal.

Portion control gives you the opportunity to focus on macronutrients, as you know now each has its function and job in the body, it´s easier to adjust how much you eat of each food so if you need to lower carbohydrates you can reduce portions or add some protein according to your goals.

Portion control is the amount of food you eat, you can weight your food or use some simple rules that you can find on the internet like 3 ounces of meat is the size of a deck of cards, half cup of oatmeal is the size of a hockey puck, one cup of broccoli is the size of a baseball. With time you´ll get familiar with sizes and you´ll be able to “eye ball” all your portions and get them more accurate with time.

Portion control can also help you reduce the amount of unhealthy foods and keep those in check while increasing healthy foods, this can make it easier for you to start making the right choices by changing or substituting some unhealthy foods for healthier options.

It´s easier to keep portions under control when you´re eating at home or when you prepare your meals but it can get more complicated when you eat out and specially this days when packages are bigger and when you have the chance to make your meal bigger for some dollars more in fast food chains.

Buffets are a great way to eat healthy and control portions, when you eat out you can ask for one portion of carbohydrates and double protein with some healthy fats you can choose what you want to eat, and in restaurants you can tell the waitress to change fries for salad or to give you only half portion of carbohydrates.

As always don´t get obsessed with this use it as a tool and guide to keep the amount of food you eat under control but don´t try to make it perfect, perfection will stress you, make the best you can and enjoy your meals, if your meals are healthy you don´t need to get obsessed or stressed, if you don´t see results just reduce the amount of food to lose weight or increase it to gain muscle, the most important macronutrient you need to focus a little more is protein, you need to consume enough protein and even when you´re losing weight you want to keep it high.

You also need to consider the macro ratios you are following, if you go with a balanced diet between carbohydrates, protein and fats or if you prefer keto, don´t forget that fats are higher in calories compared to the other 2 macros and it will keep you full longer.

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 you need to know about insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance

09 Insulin resistance & sensitivity
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Most people in the industry give us the same advice for weight loss “eat less-move more” and the reason this doesn´t work for most people is that getting in shape gets more complex, if we don´t understand how hormones work it will be harder to lose weight and keep it off. In most cases the ones trying to lose weight and get in shape have a lot of fat to lose and the chances of them being insulin resistant if really high, if we want results we need to improve insulin.

The hormone insulin is one of the most important when trying to lose fat and stay lean. Insulin resistant and insulin sensitivity will determine how efficient is your body at utilizing carbohydrates which can make your process simple or harder. Insulin is also related to diabetes which is a common diseases that affects more and more people.

Insulin sensitivity can be defined as the amount of insulin the pancreas needs to produce to move certain amount of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Someone who is insulin sensitive can need only a small amount of insulin, while someone who is insulin resistant needs a lot of insulin to deposit the same amount of glucose.

Insulin sensitive is when less insulin is required to move a greater amount of glucose into the cells. Insulin sensitivity is the ability to take in and utilize carbohydrates efficiently for energy. People who is insulin sensitive can consume high carbohydrate meals and use the glucose for fuel with low amounts of insulin. That is why they can eat donuts, brownies, cakes every night and stay lean.

People who are insulin sensitive are more likely to stay lean even if they eat a lot of sweets; the carbohydrates they eat are taken up from the bloodstream to the cells and are use as fuel, people that is insulin resistant have to release a large amount of insulin to get some of that glucose into the cells, this blocks the breakdown of fat.

Insulin resistance is when the cells stop responding to insulin so all the glucose stays in the bloodstream and our bodies stop breaking down fat and instead we end up storing it. Those who are insulin resistant must use excessive amounts of insulin to do the job, which means that their blood glucose is higher. People who are overweight or obese are likely insulin resistant, reducing carbohydrates can improve insulin levels.

If you are insulin sensitive you can eat carbohydrates, if you are insulin resistant or diabetic, considering a low carbohydrate or ketogenic nutrition program can lower insulin and improve insulin sensitivity.

The more effective your body is at utilizing carbohydrates the easier it is to burn fat, to get lean and to stay lean, if insulin is high your body cannot breakdown fat and use it for energy, being insulin resistant which makes glucose in the bloodstream stays high won´t let your body use fat even on a low calorie diet.

The best ways to improve insulin resistant is by lowering carbohydrates consumption and intermittent fasting. You can use this strategies for a period of time until your insulin resistant improves and you lose some weight or you can adapt them to your life making them a lifestyle. Intermittent fasting have a lot more benefits for your health, to get all the benefits of a low carbohydrate diet the best option is ketogenic where fat intake is about 70%, protein 20% and carbohydrates 10%. (This macro nutrients vary from people to people).

People with obesity or overweight are more likely to be insulin resistant, their body is not efficient at using carbohydrates and some other hormones like cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, metabolism. Their body is not being as effective as it should so in this case they need to be more discipline in their diet by reducing carbohydrates for a period of time until they lose some weight and their body gets more efficient.

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 you need to know about intermittent fasting

06 Intermittent fasting
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When I decided to start my fitness journey a few years ago in almost all books and websites having 5 meals a day or 3 meals and 2 snacks was the way to go so I followed this advice and to be honest it was so hard to get 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks 7 days a week. It was a lot of work and I needed to be really strict with everything I ate until a couple years ago when I found about intermittent fasting and how many religions used it. Once I started following a fasting schedule everything changed, it was a lot easier to get in shape and sustain it but what´s better is all the amazing benefits for overall health.

If you are looking for a tool that can make your life easier, that helps you get lean and stay lean and that is healthy, then intermittent fasting is what you need.

I can´t think about any other  fitness strategy that gives you the freedom you need while getting or staying lean and that makes your life easier. It doesn´t matter how your days looks like, I´m sure this strategy will work incredible for you, eating less meals reduces your stress, get you focused on what matters, gives you more freedom and you can enjoy your life a lot more.

While some people say that fasting is the worst think you can do I´ve been using it for some years now and it is amazing. Intermittent fasting has some great benefits for your health.

Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule, what this means is that you have your meals on a small period of time and you don´t eat for a long period of time, the small period of time when you eat is known as the eating window and the long period when you don´t eat is the fasting window, what´s great is that this gives your digestive system a rest which is amazing if you feel bloated or have any other digestive issues this may help.

When you want to lose fat it´s necessary to keep insulin low and intermittent fasting is great for this, every time you eat insulin raise so when you are fasting you have only 2 or 3 meals a day this is why it is so effective when you stop having breakfast or having lunch or dinner and you are in a fasted window your body increases growth hormone and keep insulin and cortisol down. Insulin and cortisol are two important hormones for weight loss and intermittent fasting is a great way to keep insulin low giving chance to growth hormone to increase.

Having 2 meals a day is the best option, most people prefer to fast in the morning skipping breakfast and have lunch and dinner, this is a great option. What works best for me is having breakfast and lunch and skip dinner. Keeping your eating window around 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours is what works best for me.

You don´t have to worry about losing muscle, there are some studies that say that it´s possible to gain muscle while losing fat at the same time following intermittent fasting, if we analyze this from the calories point of view you need a calorie deficit to lose fat and a calorie surplus to gain muscle so it may not be possible, your body needs to be in a catabolic state to lose weight and in an anabolic state to gain weight and your body can´t be in both states at the same time so it´s practically impossible but if you know how to use this strategy combined with some others in the correct way you can achieve awesome results in both fat lose and muscle gains specially if you are starting in fitness.

The way catabolic and anabolic states work in your body is easy, when you are fasting your body is in a catabolic state and when you eat your body goes to the anabolic state, this gives your body enough time to burn fat in the catabolic and you have the freedom to overeat and get to the anabolic phase maintaining muscle.

There are some goals you can achieve with ease using intermittent fasting, I recommend you focus primarily on one goal at a time and leave the rest as an added bonus.

When fasting you´ll be able to lose fat, maintain muscle mass while cutting and stay lean while bulking. This is the best strategy to adapt and fit into your lifestyle if you love to eat big meals, if you want to have the freedom to enjoy foods you love and want to stay lean all year.

When you are trying to make fitness a lifestyle it becomes so hard to fit 5 or 6 meals a day, plus one hour or more at gym at least 5 days a week into your busy schedule. This is one of the reasons intermittent fasting works great, you don´t have to stress out getting those 5 or 6 strict meals into your day, you only focus on 3 meals and no snacks in between, when you´re starting the biggest issues you´ll have is with hunger and that´s normal just give time to your body to adapt, don´t follow any eating window, do what works best for you, the first days when hunger appears have a piece of fruit, I don´t recommend any other snacks and fruit is ok on an empty stomach, you can have water or coffee if you are fasting in the morning and tea at night, those are the best options if you need some snacks, if you can go all the way to your meal without any snack that´s amazing.

Intermittent fasting is a great nutrition tool.

Intermittent fasting should be easy and a way to have more freedom in the choices you make enjoying life even more so don´t stress, don´t overdo it and don´t over think. Don´t focus on any eating window and create yours, one that fit your schedule and daily activities.

Don´t forget to provide nutrients to your body, fasting gives you the freedom  to have big meals, enjoy your favorite foods, go out to lunch or dinner with friends and family and enjoy the moment but if you cook try to make healthy  meals with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates, you are only eating 2 or 3 meals you must be sure that your body has the nutrients it requires.

Be careful with how you organize your meals and your workouts, if you are training in the morning around 8 or 9 and your first meal is at 2 pm it´ll be harder to stay fasted, if your workouts are high intensity interval training for an hour or so it will increase your appetite, boost your hunger making almost impossible to fast, you need to fit your workouts in a way that they make fasting easier and that both of them, your workouts and your meals fit perfectly in your daily activities.

Intermittent fasting can also give you other health benefits as being more awake, more energized, more productive and focused throughout the day which brings amazing benefits to your life.

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 you need to know about carbohydrates

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The last macro we will talk about is carbohydrates which for some are the evil  so they avoid them at all cost and others make them the base of their diet. There are 4 calories in one gram of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are carbon-based molecules that contain water and can be classified in monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides are the simplest basic structure which include glucose (is the simplest form of sugar), fructose (fruit) and galactose (dairy). Glucose is the building block of most complex carbohydrates and it´s our body´s preferred source of energy. This simple sugars do not need to be broken down for the body to use them so they get into your bloodstream and are used immediately.

Disaccharides are two monosacchrides bound together which include sucrose and lactose.

Polysaccharides are more than two monosaccharides bound together which include starches.

Some years ago this three groups (monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides) were divided into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates to describe how fast or slow they were digested and how fast they raise blood glucose. The simpler the molecule of sugar, the easier it is to break it down; the more complex the molecule, the more it has to be broken down and the longer it takes to absorb. Simple carbohydrates was used to describe monosaccharides and disaccharides which make sugar raise quickly, while complex carbohydrates was used to describe polysaccharides which increase blood sugar slower.

High blood sugar can be dangerous so your body needs to keep it regulated, when you eat too much sugar it gets to your bloodstream, insulin raises to take that glucose from the bloodstream to the cell and use it for energy or store it as glycogen in the muscles and if there´s an excess it stores the rest as fat.

Fiber is also a carbohydrates that is not broken down in the small intestine, it get into the large intestine where it is broken down by bacteria. It can be divided into soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, insoluble fiber does not dissolves in water. Both of them have a lot of benefits making it an important part of your diet. Green and cruciferous vegetables are great options to add fiber to your meals and your nutrition program.

Our bodies does not need high amounts of sugar and we are eating more carbohydrates than our body needs. If you are insulin resistant you may consider going lower in carbohydrates for a period of time until insulin improves.

Our body only needs a small amount of carbs.

We are all different so if a higher carbohydrate diet works best for you go ahead. The best carbohydrates sources you can eat are vegetables which include fiber and micronutrients, carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, beans, legumes, rice, pasta, corn tortilla are also a great option.

If you´ve read the posts “what you need to know about fats” and “what you need to know about protein” you can see that there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids which make them a crucial part of our diets but there are not essential carbohydrates meaning that our bodies only need sugar for energy, thanks to this we can use them as a tool like in carbohydrate cycling like a source of energy and glycogen to lose fat or gain muscle.

Ketogenic diets are based on this, since there’s not an essential carbohydrate and our body doesn´t need them you can go high in fats, moderate in proteins and very low in carbohydrates, actually the carbohydrates you consume in keto diets are vegetables to get nutrients.

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

Why macronutrients matter

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Even when my approach to nutrition is not about counting calories or being perfect with macronutrient ratios it is important that you know and understand at least the basics of nutrition so that you can adjust your meals according to your goals to get amazing results.

The goal of any diet or nutrition program must be to give nutrients to our body.

Macronutrients give energy to our bodies 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.

I know I´ve talked before that highly processed food is unhealthy and you need to avoid it as much as possible, now that you avoid all those unhealthy foods we need to start learning about the differences in real fresh food, we know that this healthy foods have the nutrients our body needs to function and we will divide it into macronutrients and micronutrients.

The first we´re going to learn are macronutrients, now that you eat healthy meals cooked with real, fresh natural ingredients it´s time to know more about those foods. Macronutrients are divided in three: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Each group has its own primarily function making all of them a crucial part of our diet.

It´s not the same to have a cup of oatmeal than to have a some cookies like Oreo, for your body it´s completely different, it´s not the same to have some rice and broccoli than to have a donut with ice cream. I know this 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 you´re body uses them in different ways even if they are healthy options. This is the reason why the famous “calories in – calories out” advice won´t work for everyone.

Each macro nutrient 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.

I´ve said before that weight lose 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, once you 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 are far more important than calories, I don´t  consider a fitness program that only focus 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 you 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 food and to stick with real fresh food. 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, I hate the idea of following diets, we´re supposed to enjoy life and for me food is an important part of life but you still need to know the basics so that you can use the information and use it to achieve your goals.

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

This approach to nutrition will make everything easier

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There are so many diets nowadays and every day a new one is out and actually all those diets are nothing more than different macronutrient ratios and we all get crazy trying to find which one is the best to help us lose weight as fast as possible.

Have you ever followed a diet to lose weight? I bet you have, for how long were you able to follow it? I´ve also tried to follow some diets, I´ve tried many of them but I couldn´t stay on track for more than 2 weeks in any of them, the reason?… I love food!!

Let´s go back some years ago when processed food was not everywhere, people used to buy fresh local ingredients and cook meals and dishes with them, most of their meals were based on real fresh food and since people used to cook more, they spend more time with family, all the family sat together at the table to have dinner and share their days.

Fast forward to today, there´s processed food everywhere, this processed food is full of sugar, trans fats and chemicals. People don´t cook as much as some years ago, actually the younger the guys the less they cook and since we´re bombarded with highly processed foods our diet is based on them.

The goal of food is to give nutrients to our body, food is fuel for our body, if we want our body to function at peak we need to give it the nutrients it need. Most processed foods do not have nutrients instead they are loaded with sugar and chemicals that our body do not know how to use.

I think we got everything wrong, we focus a lot on which diet is the best but we forget about the single most important thing, our diets are based on unhealthy processed foods, if we can only make a change in our eating habits and focus on eating more real fresh foods and less processed foods this will give us amazing results.

There´s no reason to follow strict low calorie diets if we´re eating a lot of unhealthy foods, there´s no reason to eliminate healthy options of macronutrients if we´re still eating junk. It´s not about counting calories or points, we´re here to enjoy life as much as possible and for me food is a huge part of everything life has to offer. If we focus on what matters which is giving nutrients to our body and avoid unhealthy processed foods we have a lot more freedom to try different dishes as long as they are cooked with fresh ingredients.

My approach to nutrition is to eat dishes or plates cooked with real, fresh, natural ingredients and avoid as much as possible all sweets, junk, processed and fast food. I know this may sound crazy but it´s the best way to get in the best shape of your life, sustain it and do it effortless.

Food is part of the culture and traditions of each country, there´s a piece of history on every plate.

There´s no way we can learn and know about each country if we´re following any diet that restrict some macronutrient which will only overcomplicate things and make it harder to stay on track when we´re out with friends or family.

Avoiding unhealthy foods which we all know which one they are and focusing on eating healthy foods which we also know which ones is the first step, once you get used to that step you can start adjusting macronutrients according to your goal. At this point your diet is based on healthy foods and you just make the adjustments necessary by decreasing carbohydrates, increasing protein or you can take it further and try ketogenic. Or if you are like me you can stick with the easiest nutrition plan, eat dishes or plates cooked with real fresh ingredients and enjoy!!

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