Challenge Yourself Summit Recap: Macronutrients
Of the three essential macronutrients, each plays a distinct and separate role in promoting a balanced metabolism. The body requires proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in relatively large amounts each day in order to grow, energize, and repair whilst sustaining life.
Protein, or the “building block” macronutrient as it is often called, is a key ingredient in many of the body’s repair processes, (lean muscle tissue repair especially.) Protein is the macronutrient that will keep you most satiated between meals. Its effectiveness in prolonging a feeling of fullness is due in part to protein’s distinctly slower and more complex breakdown when compared to the other macronutrients’ molecular structures and pathways for digestion.
Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. They are one of the most basic, yet prevalent, macronutrients found within food. The GetFit21 program encourages choosing carbohydrate-dense foods that are also high in fiber. These fiber-rich “good carbs” are slow-burning sources of energy that sustain healthy baseline energy levels and fuel quality sessions of exercise. By including, and not avoiding, healthy carbs, certain hormones that regulate fat-burn and metabolic proficiency will continue to function at their optimal rates.
Fats play an integral role in the digestion and absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. They aid in brain development, proper cellular health and function, and they protect and insulate the body’s vital organs. Fats also stimulate the production of many metabolism-friendly hormones. Actively seek out healthy sources of unsaturated fats whenever preparing a meal; the body’s metabolism will not function at its best without some.
Unlike many “diet programs,” the GetFit21 approach to nutrition and proper ratios of macronutrients is a balanced, sustainable, and repeatable one. Severely restricting one or more of the macronutrients from a diet for an extended period of time can cause substantial, and in some cases, irreversible, damage to the metabolism. With its metabolic efficiency now compromised, the body’s ability to store, generate and transmit energy downgrades. Vital metabolic functions such as fat-loss, muscle gain, maintaining stable energy levels throughout the day, etc., steadily decline in effectiveness.
A relatively balanced inclusion of the three essential macronutrients will prevent a clash with most challenger’s lifestyles, or a clash within their own metabolisms. Each challenger can use their hand as a portion size indicator. Choose a lean protein in a serving roughly the size of your palm. Choose a fiber-rich carbohydrate in a portion the size of your clenched fist. A healthy portion of unsaturated fat would measure the size of your thumb from tip to base. Don’t neglect a helping of some colorful micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, from vegetables and nutrient dense fruits. Using your fist as a measuring tool is helpful here as well.
Meal after meal, week after week, consistency and balance in nutrition will pay dividends. The metabolism is an intricate symphony of reactions that ensure and sustain life. The inclusion of all the essential macronutrients in the GetFit21 lifestyle directly supports a happy, healthy, high-functioning metabolism.