A good diet starts with the right balance of macro and micronutrients. You want to make sure you are consuming multiple types of vegetables, fruits, dairy and a variety of protein sources like lean meats. Lastly, you also need your healthy fats & oils.
What to stay away from:
- Saturated Fats
- Added Sugars
Here are the major components of a balanced diet.
The total amount of calories your body needs each day is your total energy expenditure. It can be found from the following factors:
- Thermic effect of physical activity – the energy needed for physical activity
- Thermic effect of food – the energy required to absorb and digest food
- Basal metabolic rate – the energy required when your body is at rest
Macronutrients are the major nutrients required to provide energy to keep your body running and for daily activities.
- Carbohydrates provide around 4 calories per gram
- Protein provide about 4 calories per gram
- Fats around 9 calories per gram
Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy during physical activity. Also, your brain and CNS (central nervous system) need carbohydrates/glucose for energy. Focus on healthier carbs from natural sources like fruits, and whole grain products. 45-65 percent of your total caloric intake should be from carbs.
Protein is extremely important for muscle growth. They are composed of amino acids which are the building blocks of your body. They also play a big role in other functions such as hormone management. Furthermore, protein is not usually used as a direct energy source unless carbs are lacking in your body. You should get around 10-15 percent of your total calories from protein.
Finding your recommended protein intake is based on body weight. For kilograms, you can multiply your weight by .8 and for pounds by .36. This will give you an approximate number of how much protein you require.
Fat (lipids) make up all the cells in the body, they are extremely important for helping with the normal functions in your body. We have different types of fats which include saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Fat can often be considered bad, it is only bad when we consume too much of the wrong type. Stay away from saturated and trans fats because they will increase the bad cholesterol in your blood (LDL) and can help cause sickness like diabetes.
Focus on healthier fats like monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Products to buy include fish oil, coconut oil, and safflower oil.
You should get about 20 – 35 percent of your calorie intake from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Author Kafui Hotsonyame Owner of Kafui Fitness