Now that you know about calorie setting, focusing on natural food choices, and striving for balance, it’s time to take a closer look at the three main macronutrients that will make up your diet plan: proteins, carbohydrates, and dietary fats.
Each of these has a different role in the body, and for maximum energy, fat burning, and muscle building, you need all three to be in place.
Let’s look at each more specifically.
Proteins are the first macronutrient and possibly the most important. You would not sustain life if you do not meet your protein requirements. Protein is going to be responsible for building and maintaining lean body tissues, for helping synthesize various hormones and neurotransmitters in the body and for making sure that you regulate your blood sugar levels.
Protein has minimal impact on insulin levels, so eating these foods help to keep hunger levels down lower. Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, lean red meat, eggs and egg whites, seafood, and low fat dairy products for best results and aim to eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight, unless you are on a very calorie reduced diet, in which case you may want to take it slightly higher to preserve your lean muscle mass.
Second we come to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in recent times as many people blame them for the weight problems they experience today.
But, it’s not so much carbohydrates that cause weight gain; it’s the type of carbohydrate and how much you eat that does.
When choosing your carbohydrates, you want to focus primarily on vegetables and fruits if weight loss is the goal, and then eat complex natural carbohydrates around the times your most active and need more energy.
Good examples of these include oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and sweet potatoes. Keep them to this time only and you’ll do a better job regulating your calorie intake.
For muscle building, add more complex carbohydrates to the picture in order to boost your total calorie intake and promote greater muscle mass gains.
Finally, dietary fats are the last macronutrient to consider. Just like with carbohydrates, it’s important to choose healthy dietary fats such as unsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega sources. These come from foods such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, and fatty varieties of fish.
Remember that dietary fats are very calorie dense however, so portion control is a must.
Dietary fats will help with hormone balance and hunger control, so you do need to keep them in your plan.
There are no set requirements for either carbohydrates or dietary fats, but rather they must balance out with the total target calorie intake you’re using once protein has been set. This is what will help deliver you maximum energy.
As you go about your diet plan, you may also want to look into some smart products that help with energy enhancement in addition to your diet, such as complete meal replacement bars such as the AdvoBar Meal or Fruit and Fiber Bar, or simply energy drinks like the V16 Energy Drink that will delivery you a dose of vitamins and herbs to boost your energy levels along with the foods you’re eating.
Next up, it’s time to look at the importance of meal timing as well as planning.