Like a lot of things in life, your diet is all about balance.
Just like we said in our previous post about Mindful Eating, quick fixes and fads are not the way forward for your long-term health & fitness. It's important to adopt a diet that works for you and is sustainable over time. It's a lifestyle choice.
So, how do you achieve this so called balance? There have been many different ideas on how we should divide up our daily calorie intake. In the US, they use a pyramid system to show which food groups you should eat in what quantity. In the UK, it's the Eatwell Plate which shows in an easy infographic, how to divide up your diet by food group/macronutrients (carbohydrates/fats/protein). You'll often hear 'macros' and may have you seen '#IIFYM' on social media? This means 'If It Fits Your Macros'!
As you can see, this diagram shows that a large majority of our food should come from starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes & pasta and also from fruit & vegetables which are all mainly carbohydrates. You might be thinking don't carbs make me fat? No, they don't and here's the key message:
> Anything in excess will be stored as fat: excess carbs are turned into fat, excess protein is turned into fat and excess fat, well...is already fat but leads to more!
So how do you work out how to stay within your means and not go to excess? The National food model provides the following daily calorie targets for men & women:
Adult males : 2550 kcals
Adult females : 1950 kcals
If you want to be more specific, use your own personal calorie figure. If you do not know it, we show you how to calculate your own Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and apply your activity level to it to work out your calorie requirements in another blog.
Let's stick with this national guidance for now. The total amount of calories should be divided across each of the macronutrients to achieve the following balance:
- Minimum 50% calories from carbs
- Maximum 35% calories from fats
- Minimum 15% calories from protein
The final part of this is to work out how to calculate the amount of macros to eat. This is done as follows:
- Carbs - divide calories by 4
- Fats - divide calories by 9
- Protein - divide calories by 4
The best way to show you how this works is to use an example:
Example: Female consuming 1950 calories per day = 1950 x 50% = 975 (carbs), 1950 x 35% = 682.5 (fats) and 1950 x 15% = 292.5 (protein)
This translates into the following grams of each macro :
- Carbs = 975 / 4 = 243.75g
- Fats = 682.5 / 9 = 75.83g
- Protein = 292.5 / 4 = 73.13g
This might all sound complicated but we can assure you, it's doesn't take long and it's great to have an idea on how to achieve balance. Undernourishment can be just as much of an issue as over-eating.
Stay tuned to our blog for more info on nutrition as we explore each macro-nutrient in turn and as promised, outline how to calculate your BMR.
Have a great one #organicfitfam and please drop us a line, we love hearing from you! Read more from our Nutrition blog. #GoOrganic