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The Ultimate Guide to Nutrition

A Different Outlook on Nutrition

One of the hardest obstacles to overcome in any health journey is the nutrition part. Food tastes good! Not to mention, our bodies are designed so that we cannot live without it. But if we look at the most basic reason we need food, it is to provide our bodies with energy.

 

The purpose of food is the same as gas for a car. It is the energy we need to make us function. Contrary to what most nutritionists would say, I believe there is a place for every food choice, but at the same time, we need to eat each food at the right time in order for it to help us towards our goals rather than hurt us.

 

In this guide, I will show you how our bodies use the food we eat, how we can strategically use the food we already, and finally how we can control our body’s different metabolisms to burn more fat faster.

As with any conversation about food, we must first look at the 3 main sources of energy for bodily function called macronutrients. The 3 macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Just for clarification, these are separate from vitamins and minerals which are called micronutrients. Micronutrients are supporters required for our health, but the 3 macronutrients are absolute requirements for us to stay alive and functioning. Now, what is each of these macronutrients, and what are they used for?

 

Protein breaks down into building blocks, called amino acids, which are then used to form almost every structure in our body. Without them, our bodies literally deteriorate from the inside out.

 

Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy, and they act as a fuel source for our muscles to perform actions. Although carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies, not all carbohydrates are the same “type” of fuel. There are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates digest quickly and complex carbohydrates digest more slowly.

 

Fats are a secondary source of energy in our bodies, and they also help with the health and protection of our internal organs.

Next is a list of where many of our major common foods lie within the three macronutrients. This list is not exhaustive.

 

In the next section, we will look at how each of these foods is digested, how long they take to digest, and how we can strategically eat each of them throughout the day and week to help us get to our goals

The Three
Macronutrients

Macro 1: Protein

  • Meat

    • Lean=Chicken, Turkey, Crab

    • Non-Lean/Fatty=Beef, Sausage, Fish

  • Eggs

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Beans

  • Lentils

  • Soy

Macro 2: Carbs

  • Simple Carbohydrates

    • Fruits (Apples, Bananas, Pears, Peaches, etc.)

    • Honey

    • White Bread/Bagels

    • White Pasta

    • White Rice

  • Complex Carbohydrates​

    • Sweet Potatoes

    • Peas

    • Steel Cut Oats

    • Quinoa

    • Whole Wheat Rice (Brown, Long Grain)

    • Whole Wheat Pasta

    • Whole Wheat Bread/Bagels

Macro 3: Fats

  • Avocados

  • Olives

  • Peanut Butter

  • Nuts (Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios)

  • Seeds (Flax seed)

Metabolism &
Macros

When each of these three macros are digested, they produce a certain amount of energy in the form of Calories for our body to use.

 

  • Protein produces 4 Calories/gram

  • Carbohydrates also produce 4 Calories/gram

  • Fats produce the most with 9 Calories/gram.

 

Each of these three macros is metabolized at different times for different functions. Protein is continuously metabolized to provide amino acids for our muscles and other organs. Carbohydrates and fats, on the other hand, are metabolized at different times by turning on different metabolic pathways depending on our heart rate and energy demand.

 

During normal daily functioning or during a low-intensity workout when your heart rate is under 140 beats per minute, your body mainly burns carbohydrates in the primary metabolic pathway called glycolysis.

 

During a medium-intensity workout when your heart rate is between 140 and 155 beats per minute, your body mainly burns fat in the secondary metabolic pathway called lipolysis.

 

During a high-intensity workout when your heart rate is above 155 beats per minute, your body will burn both fats and carbohydrates by turning on both metabolic pathways of glycolysis and lipolysis.

Meal timing is important to understand because each of the three macros are digested and metabolized into energy at different rates.

 

Protein is digested at 3-10 grams/hour depending on the type of protein. Lean protein like chicken and turkey are digested at a faster rate than fatty protein like beef.

 

Fats produce a slow energy output after 15 minutes and become fully digested after 3 hours at which point the energy is fully available.

 

Carbohydrates have different digestion times depending on the type of carbohydrate, either simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates, like fruits and sugar, are digested quickly and provide full available energy after only 15 minutes, but that energy must be used within 30 minutes or it will be reabsorbed and stored. Complex carbohydrates, like oats, provide a slow release of energy after 15 minutes and become fully digested after 3 to 6 hours depending on several factors like having other food in your system and the normal rate of your metabolism.

Each of these digestion rates can fluctuate depending on a couple things. First, if you are eating multiple macros together in a single sitting, each of the macro’s digestion rates will decrease slightly and take longer. Second, if you haven’t been consistently working out or eating semi-healthy, your metabolism may be somewhat slow and your digestion rates will be slower as well.

Even though fats are excellent for high-energy caloric density because they produce over two times as much energy as carbohydrates and proteins, it is important to understand that it is dangerous to have too much fat in a short period of time. When fat is broken down, the broken down components called fatty acids float through your bloodstream until they are either transformed into protection for your organs or used up again as energy through the secondary metabolic pathway. If too much fat is digested in a short period of time and not utilized quick enough, the broken down components of fatty acid will build up in your blood stream and can cause numerous adverse effects.

Meal Timing & Digestion Rates

Pick Your Nutrition Plan

Now that you have learned the outline of nutrition, you understand the purpose of food and how food works. So now...let's pick your plan!

I advise adjusting each plan according to your own specific needs, and if your training goals change you can always come back and switch to one of the other protocols.

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