LEARN THE MACRONUTRIENTS & BALANCE
Today’s challenge is just some education by learning what the 3 macronutrients are, and how to balance them.
If you don’t already know what the 3 macronutrients are then very quickly, they are carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Carbohydrates will be anything from fruit and vegetables, to rice and potatoes. These are the main fuel source for humans.
Protein will be largely based around animal products like meat, and fish, although many vegan and vegetarian products lie tofu, are non-animal based. A simple way to remember protein is to think that they help us to grow and repair.
Fats range from foods like avocados to oils. Fats provide many functions such as insulating, and hormone regulation.
All three of these macronutrients are essential for survival and are extremely complex in how they support life. It is worth noting that food is usually always a combination of the three macronutrients in different quantities, and rarely just one. Nuts and eggs are classic examples. Both are high in protein and fats, and have small trace amounts of carbohydrates.
Finding a balance between these three macronutrients can help us to not only have energy, but also to feel fuller for longer.
Many people run into trouble however, as they avoid (whether intentionally, or unintentionally), one or more of these nutrients.
A classic example is the average conscious eater, who decides to just eat a chicken salad for lunch, and then tries to wait until the evening for their next meal. While the intention was to be healthy, a chicken salad is only really high in protein and small amounts of carbs from the salad. The salad is of course fantastic, and high in essential micronutrients, but not enough carbohydrates or fats to sustain an adult.
A simple adjustment of including to the chicken salad, some slow release carbohydrates like a wild rice, and bean mix, would also offer an extra boost of protein, and way more fibre. With a chopped up avocado, and perhaps a sprinkle of nuts, or even a drizzling of extra-virgin olive oil, you would have a complete meal that would keep you feeling fuller for fat longer.
If not, and you just stick to the original chicken, and leaf salad, then you are likely to be ravenous when you next eat, and probably will eat something less than optimum that you’d really rather not.
So, think about it. How balanced are your meals?
Having just an apple as a snack? You might be better served to pair it with something like cottage cheese. High protein and fat.
Just eggs for breakfast? How about pairing it with a slice of dense rye bread, and avocado?
You don’t have to mix all three macronutrients together. There will be times when you just want one food type, however, with a little insight, and clever planning, you can at least have the other macronutrients close to hand, so that in the worst case scenario, you can just say no, I only want this one food, but at least you will have the option. You might surprise yourself how handy this tool is.