It starts with education
Preparing Healthy Meals in Advance Begins with Education
Everyone has different health and fitness goals. If you want to bulk up like an Olympic bodybuilder, you need lots of protein and carbs. Those looking to lose weight will cut carbs and up dietary fiber. In general, though, there are some recommendations you want to aim for, especially regarding fat, carbohydrates and protein. These are the three macronutrients required by the human body in large supply, and they must be replaced frequently.
Since the 1970s, people in Western nations have been told that eating fat will make you fat. This simply isn’t true. The sugar industry spent millions on a media campaign to name fat as a health hazard and downplay the danger of sugar. It worked. Everybody began eating fat-free diets, sugar was seen as a healthy flavor provider, and now the world suffers from the worst sugar-related health problems in human history. Your body needs a decent amount of fat in your diet, good fats. About 20% to 35% of your total calories should come in the form of fat.
Healthy fats help your body absorb vitamins, they provide a protective cushion for your vital organs, and it can be stored as an energy source for use later. Totally avoid trans fats, limit your saturated fats, and focus on monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to keep your cholesterol down.
Like carbohydrates, protein provides energy. Protein is harder to break down than fat or carbs, so when you eat foods with protein, you feel full longer. This helps you regulate how many calories you eat throughout the day. Accordingly, a high-protein diet that cuts back on carbohydrates is a great way to lose weight. About 20% to 35% of your daily caloric intake should be in the form of protein.
Every cell in your body requires protein, and the more active you are, the more protein you will need. Someone who is extremely active could require as much as twice the protein of someone who is sedentary. Protein can be found in plant-based foods, and animal-based foods contain much higher levels of this essential macronutrient.
You need somewhere between 30% and 60% of your calories to come from complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are translated to fat and stored almost immediately, so you want to avoid them. This means opting for carbs found in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, as opposed to processed foods, starchy food, fast food, pastries and other unhealthy options. Vegetables, beans, plant foods and fruits make excellent complex carbohydrate choices.
Consider these proportions when planning your meals.
Understand that protein and carbohydrates deliver about 4 cal per gram of weight. Fat weighs in at a heavy 9 cal per gram, but again, sugar is the culprit that makes you overweight and obese, not fat. In a 2,000 calorie daily dietary plan, the above ranges would mean the following:
- Fat – 100 – 175 grams
- Protein – 100 – 175 grams
- Carbs – 150 – 300 grams
Understand that everyone is different. Your body works differently than anyone else’s. You are going to have to play around with these percentages until you find out what works for you.
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Batista & Doc
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