Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, and Intermittent Fasting are all hot diet trends right now. They all have one single thing in common as have all diets in history, restriction. Whether the goal is to lose weight or get healthier, it seems that the world has decided we should all be on a restrictive diet. While there are instances in chronic disease, autoimmune disorders, and food allergies to completely restrict foods, the majority of people have it all wrong with dieting. The improvements they want in weight and health come with so much restriction in food groups, calories, and/or nutrients. The end result is failure, weight gain, and a diet cycle that never ends. I have seen it so many times in my career. It also opens the door to disordered eating patterns that can lead to a lifetime of damage physically and mentally. Don’t you want to get off this hamster wheel?
If I told you that you didn’t need a diet to get healthy or lose weight, would you believe me? We have a serious diet culture epidemic that has a noose around the necks of so many well intentioned people. We have to come a point where we have to stop believing in a miracle diets, pills, and people with no education in nutrition. It’s dangerous! Don’t let a super thin 20 year old model or the super cut guy with his shirt off in the commercial be your goal. You are a unique individual. You have very specific genetics that dictate your height, eye color, and more. Let’s be honest about life for a moment. Who has 2 hours a day to be at the gym unless you work there? If you have kids or work full time, chances are you are too busy to put that kind of time in. Let’s also talk about the oversized portions that we have come to accept as normal. Drink sizes and plates sizes are 4x the size they used to be! We expect it and have demanded it. It’s time to go back to basics and relearn a few things!
I honestly believe most people have a management problem with food. While many may think eating healthy is the easiest thing in the world, it’s a science filled with macronutrients and micronutrients. Each of those nutrients plays a vital role in your health. A food that is good for you could be harmful to someone else. Nutrition is uniquely individual. In our strive to get healthy, I feel like we have left the basics behind so I wanted to go over the essentials to get people to understand that eliminating a macronutrient from our diets can do more harm than good. So, let’s discuss what the primary macronutrients are and what they do for your body.
There are 3 primary macronutrients from food: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. I like to think of this in terms of a triangle. You need all 3 sides to make the triangle work and the same thought applies when it comes to macronutrients. While it appears to be simple concept, it is so much more complex. In this post, I just want to do a quick overview of the importance of these macronutrients. I go more in-depth in future posts. My goal is for you to see that these 3 main components of food need each other and so does your body.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy that supply about 4 calories per gram. They help with the maintenance of blood sugar levels and they aid in the elimination of waste through fiber. Carbs can also provide many micronutrient benefits that help your body stay healthy in the form of B vitamins, Magnesium, Selenium, and Iron.
Protein is an extremely important macronutrient. While it does supply energy at 4 calories a gram, protein is present in every cell of your body. It is responsible for cellular development, growth, and maintenance. Protein also helps regulate body processes and transport substances within the blood.
Fat is also known as lipids. It has more than double the amount of calories at 9 calories per gram. Fat is needed to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K. Their are certain essential fatty acids (EFA’s) that only come from food. Fats are responsible for brain growth and development and helps regulate body processes.
Each of these macros are so important to health! Eliminating one of them will reap consequences. It’s time to come to the understanding that maybe you don’t know how to manage them. I hope to help you understand this better in future posts and help get you on the right track.
What do you think is your biggest challenge with weight loss or healthy eating? Is it portion control, timing of meals, hunger, or something else? My goal is to get you thinking about it!
I have a couple of posts that are great resources that can help you rethink your diet and how you can improve it.
How Much Fast Food Are You Really Eating
You can get a free Fast Food Tracker to start taking inventory of your meals away from home.
Change the Way You Eat with These 4 Letters
This post gives your 4 ways to start eating healthy today.
Author: Betsy Ramirez
Betsy is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, homeschool mom, & fairy tale junkie, who loves getting crafty. Being on my bike and lifting weights are my therapy. Thinking outside the box is my jam!
Hi Betsy, thanks for the post, I think it’s spot on. Fad diets are easy to believe in, but in reality, long-term diet improvement comes from a strong plan and making sure you are giving your body the nutrients it needs.
I tend to believe that focusing on what you take away isn’t nearly as effective as paying attention to what you put in, and making that a priority.