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What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the three essential nutrients that the human body requires in large amounts to function properly: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are called “macro” because the body needs them in significant quantities compared to micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, which are required in smaller amounts.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body, and they can be found in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Proteins are necessary for the growth and repair of tissues, as well as the production of enzymes, hormones, and other molecules. Foods rich in protein include meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts.
Fats provide energy, insulation, and protection for organs, and can be found in foods such as oils, butter, nuts, and seeds.
It’s important to have a balanced intake of all three macronutrients to maintain optimal health and meet the body’s nutritional needs.
Jeremy Ethier is a fitness and nutrition YouTuber who provides evidence-based information on how to build muscle, lose fat, and improve overall health and fitness. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
What are Calories?
Calories are a unit of measurement used to quantify the amount of energy in food and beverages. Specifically, a calorie is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
In nutrition, calories are used to describe the amount of energy that is released when food is digested and metabolized by the body. The body requires a certain number of calories each day to perform basic functions such as breathing, circulating blood, and maintaining body temperature. Additional calories are needed to support physical activity and other daily activities.
Calories are typically expressed in units of kilocalories (kcal) or Calories (with a capital C), which are equivalent to 1,000 calories. For example, a food that contains 100 Calories provides the body with 100,000 calories of energy.
Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain, while consuming too few calories can lead to weight loss. Therefore, it’s important to balance calorie intake with physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and meet nutritional needs.
What is a Calorie Deficit?
A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight and energy level. In other words, it’s the state in which you burn more calories than you consume.
When you are in a calorie deficit, your body must obtain the additional energy it needs from stored fat or muscle tissue. This can result in weight loss, as long as the calorie deficit is sustained over time.
To achieve a calorie deficit, you can either reduce your calorie intake through diet, increase your physical activity to burn more calories, or do a combination of both. For example, you could reduce your daily calorie intake by 500-1000 calories per day or increase your physical activity to burn an additional 500-1000 calories per day, which would result in a weekly deficit of 3500-7000 calories, equivalent to about 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week.
It’s important to note that a calorie deficit should be achieved in a healthy and sustainable way, as too drastic of a deficit can be harmful to your health and lead to muscle loss, nutritional deficiencies, and a slower metabolism. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help ensure that you achieve a safe and effective calorie deficit.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that are required by the human body in small amounts for proper functioning and overall health. Unlike macronutrients, which are needed in larger quantities, micronutrients are required in very small amounts, usually in milligrams or micrograms.
Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, the B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and many others. Each micronutrient plays a unique role in the body, such as supporting immune function, maintaining bone health, facilitating the production of red blood cells, and aiding in energy metabolism.
A deficiency in micronutrients can lead to various health problems and deficiencies in specific vitamins or minerals can lead to particular health conditions. For example, iron deficiency can lead to anemia, while a lack of vitamin D can lead to weakened bones.
Micronutrients are obtained through a balanced diet that includes a variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins. In some cases, supplementation may be recommended to address specific nutrient deficiencies or to support overall health.
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