You are what you EAT
You are a function of what you eat on a daily basis. It is absolutely impossible to be healthy and maintain an excellent body weight without considering you daily diet. It doesn’t better how young or old you are, the fact still remains that fitness and a healthy living should be your topmost priority. While being interested in weight loss, also pay attention to what you eat!
As mentioned above, your diet will determine how well you will look, and how strongly you will perceive yourself. It is important to understand that this goes a long way in boosting the confidence you have in yourself, and thereby increasing your daily productivity.
There is no doubt that at this point, you will be wondering what it takes to stay healthy and how to recognize the kinds of diet that will give you the right amount of calories you need to keep your weight in check. The following paragraphs will elaborate further on these and many more.
Firstly, let’s do a quick recap of what the major classes of nutrients are. Broadly speaking, and with regards to our food types, we can classify nutrients into fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Everything you eat is composed of different proportions of these three macronutrients. Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins contain different number of calories and even though our body needs them all, they are needed in variable quantities. A tilt of this quantity to either side of normal is what usually leads to unhealthy living and ultimately malnutrition. Therefore keeping count of the number of calories you consumes is key when it comes to weight loss and staying healthy.
It’s time to go into these macronutrients and understand what they are. Fats are macronutrients just like carbohydrates and proteins. Even though there is a general perception that fat is bad for your body, there are some types of fat that you can’t live without. So what are the different types, and which of them is good and which is bad? There are four main types; saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, trans-unsaturated fat, and poly-unsaturated fat.
The saturated fats are mainly found in meat. They can be good or bad depending on whether the meat was grass fed only or whether it was a processed meat. Processed meat contains saturated fats which are not healthy, and can make it extremely difficult for you to lose fat.
Mono-saturated fats on the other hand have been shown to provide high calories required to maintain a healthy energy level, and lose fat considerably. They also protect the heart by preventing atherosclerosis. Healthy sources of mono-saturated fats includes; avocado, olives, and macadamia oil.
The poly-unsaturated fats are the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acid possess an excellent anti-inflammatory property, gives support to cell membranes, keeps a healthy hormone level, and facilitates fast weight loss. The Omega 6 fatty acid helps to support a healthy brain and muscles activity, however, it is pro-inflammatory and so is only needed in small amount. Sources of Omega 3 fatty acid includes flaxseed, canola oil, clean salmon and soybean. Omega 6 fatty acid is found in most baked foods, packaged foods, and snacks. The Omega 6 fatty acid generally threatens your fitness and healthy living, and so it’s healthier to reduce its intake to as little as possible.
Trans-unsaturated fats are categorized as the worst type of fat available. Apart from making weight loss difficult, they are mostly responsible for a large number of the cardiovascular diseases. Trans-unsaturated fats are by-products of hydrogenation, which is a process used to turn healthy oils into solid forms to prevent rancidity. These fats are unhealthy and as such should be prevented. They make it extremely difficult for you to lose weight.
It is now clear that making the right choice as to what kind of fat to take, and what kind to prevent will give you an impeccable body/physical appearance. Having a great body-built will also give you a high self-confidence. Meanwhile for women within the reproductive age group, keeping a healthy diet will not only boost fertility, but it will also prevent obstetric conditions such as pregnancy induced hypertension and pregnancy induced diabetes.
Carbohydrates are also macronutrients. They are fibers and starches mainly found in vegetables, fruits and grains. Carbohydrates are the body’s number one source of energy. Interestingly, glucose (a type of carbohydrate) is the only form of energy that the brain utilizes. Chemically, carbohydrates are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are of three main types; monosaccharaides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. They contain a lot of calories, and as such, they are converted to fat for storage when taken excessively. Therefore a good way to maintain a healthy body weight is by limiting the amount of calories you take in form of carbohydrate. Also, reduced intake of carbohydrate is an inevitable part of every successful weight loss regimen. To keep fit, lose weight and look healthy, it is better to go for sources of carbohydrates in form of fruits and vegetables.
As one of the essential macronutrients, proteins are an important part of our diet. They serve as the basic building block for the tissues in our body, and they also provide energy in form of calories for bodily use. Proteins are composed of amino acids. Amino acids form the basic/functional unit of proteins. These amino acids play a pivotal role in maintaining cellular function/integrity, and ultimately keeps the body young and fit.
There is no doubt that protein should be part of every complete diet. The important role that protein plays in the body can never be overemphasized. Amino acids are essential nutrients which serve as the building block for immune response, tissue repair, and production of enzymes and hormones. Some of these hormones are crucial for maintaining a good fertility status, by ensuring consistent spermatogenesis and a regular menstrual cycle.
Also, because it helps with body building, fitness enthusiasts who want to become muscular from weight lifting are often advised to take a lot of protein. This will provide the raw material that the rapidly enlarging muscles require, and also enable them lose fat. Important foods with high protein content includes; meat, eggs, dairy products, cereals, soy, whole grains and fish.
A lot of people are malnourished today. This can be linked to the kind of diet we take, most of which are fatty foods. Malnutrition is not only about inadequacy of the essential nutrients the body needs, it also entails taking them in excessive amounts. This makes malnutrition mainly of two types; under-nutrition and over-nutrition. Under-nutrition is seen in poor regions of the world. Over-nutrition on the other hand is a problem of the developed world.
Over-nutrition is the direct cause of obesity. It is therefore paramount that an obese person should adopt weight loss regimens that will enable them lose fat. This weight loss regimen should include dietary control (diet is the most important component), and regular exercise to lose fat.
Under-nutrition is the direct cause of being underweight. This can be simply tackled by taking enough of the macronutrients mentioned earlier. Vegetables which are sources of carbohydrate should be given preference. A balanced nutritional level is important in maintaining a healthy and appreciable lifestyle.
HOW IMPORTANT IS BREAKFAST?
Breakfast is nicknamed “most essential food of the day”. The reason for this title is not far fetched. Breakfast serves as breakage for the overnight fasting that lies between dinner and when food will be eaten in the morning. It is an important part of the day because it serves to replenish the body’s nutrients, and also provides an opportunity to lose fat. The best way to utilize breakfast to lose fat is by making sure it is majorly fruits and vegetables. This also helps clear the free radicals that might have accumulated over the night.
Essentially, one can use breakfast as a means to lose weight, and it can also be used to keep the body fit and healthy. Just make sure it contains the right amount of calories, and also make sure it does not interfere with your daily weight loss regimen!