You’ve probably heard about macronutrients, or macros for short. These are carbs, fats, and proteins (aka CFPs). Everything we eat can be broken down into these three macro categories. Understanding the importance of CFPs allows us to to make the absolute best nutrition choices for our personal goals and our bodies. It also provides us the opportunity to optimize nutritional intake for energy, performance, muscle building, recovery, gut health, and so much more.
C is for Carbohydrates
Carbs are known by their poor reputation for bloat and excess fat gains, which is actually a myth and one of the most ridiculous things I have ever typed. Carbs are essential, and our bodies need them to function properly, so when we remove carbs and our bodies respond as expected:
- Drop in energy leading to sluggishness and exhaustion
- Loss of cognition including lack of focus and foggy mind
- Hunger pings resulting in cravings and binges
- Possible slowing of the metabolism
- Loss of strength and athletic performance
When eaten and broken down carbs provide a major source of energy to fuel everyday activities. Unfortunately, the confusion that has been created by fad dietary guidelines and sources recommending this macro be removed from our diet completely disregard their importance and the many benefits they provide.
F is for Fats
Fat is essential for the body to function properly and is the macro responsible for supporting cell growth, nutrient and vitamin absorption, the production of important hormones, and acts as a major fuel source for the body. If we remove or deplete fats from our diet, we may experience a handful of negative responses:
- Increase in cravings and hunger pings due to loss of dietary satiety
- Loss of cognition including lack of alertness and poor memory retention
- Spikes in cholesterol levels
- Risk for increased heart disease and lower bone density
- Possible slowing of the metabolism
- Drop in hormone levels including testosterone
P is for Proteins
Whether you are behind a desk or on your feet all day, love or hate exercise, prefer a sedentary and low key lifestyle over a highly active one, protein is extremely important to the body. This macro isn’t just for individuals that visit the gym. In fact, it is just as crucial to those who don’t. Protein breaks down in the gut into amino acids and becomes utilized as building blocks, becoming the key to repairing all tissues (i.e. muscle, bone, skin). Protein is also used when making essential hormones and enzymes that support the immune system. If we remove or deplete protein from our diet, we will cause disruption internally throughout the entire body, including:
- Risk of lean muscle mass loss or breakdown
- Compromised immune system, including slow wound healing
- Increased likelihood of exercise related injuries
- Heightened feelings of fatigue
- Hunger pings due to loss of dietary satiety
- Slowing of muscle repair and recovery from muscle soreness
CFPs is for Essential + Optimal Physical Functioning
I once read, if the engine is broken, it doesn’t matter what type of fuel you add to the machine…but, if the fuel is terrible, your engine still won’t function the way you want (https://www.bornfitness.com/fix-your-diet-understanding-proteins-carbs-and-fats/). Think of the body as the engine and nutrition as the fuel. We can eat whatever we want, but at the end of the day, what we put into our system really does matter. This is exactly why having a well balanced diet consisting of carbs, fats, and proteins is important. These macros will optimize our mental and physical performance while boosting the likelihood of body re-composition and overall improvements in health.
Consider the implications you could be putting your body through the next time you opt for dietary changes and programs that support and encourage the removal or depletion of any one or more macros. Ask yourself if a short-term, quick fix is worth long-term wellness complications.
Interested in learning more about the importance of carbs, fats, and proteins?. As a certified nutrition coach, I stand behind the meaning of balance and encourage you to do the same. Let’s talk more about how you too can begin the journey toward well-rounded nutritional habits and change. Please contact me today at [email protected]