Nutrients are the substance found in food, and they’re essential to nourishing the body to help it grow and to help maintain life.
In addition to growth, the body will use such nutrients to help repair the body as needed, to boost the metabolism, transporting oxygen throughout the body, to provide energy, as well as several other functions.
Dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals are all considered to be nutrients, and each one is used in a different way; collectively, they are referred to as micronutrients. However, the real powerhouses — the ones packed with calories — are known as fat, protein and carbohydrates. Together, they are referred to as macronutrients.
Though each of the three major nutrient types can provide a healthy amount of calories, the overall calorie content varies substantially:
– Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram – Proteins: 4 calories per gram – Fats: 9 calories per gram
Take a quick look at any bag of potato chips — it’s not hard to see why eating them in excess can quickly lead to a pudgy stomach, love handles and a sudden scowl every time one walks by a mirror in the house.
Although fat plays a very important role in providing humans with efficient energy, its role still needs to be a fairly small one than most people are used to eating.
Eating too much fat and carbohydrates is as dangerous to one’s health as it is to the waistline; packing in too much gives the body more calories than it can effectively burn off, leading to storage that quickly turns into fat.
As a general rule of thumb, an average male should be able to maintain his current weight by eating just 2,500 calories every day. The average female, on the other hand, will only be able to eat 2,000 calories in order to maintain her own figure, giving her fewer options than her male counterpart to maintain current weight with a sedentary lifestyle.
It’s not exactly fair, but it’s the unfortunate truth of science; men simply need to consume more calories than women do.
Striking the Perfect Macronutrient Balance
When designing a meal plan, consider that most of the body’s calorie requirements can and should be met with carbohydrates. Aside from fat, carbs are the primary source of fuel for the human body; as long as the right kinds are eaten, such as from vegetables, then an individual can expect an ongoing readiness of energy throughout the day.
Health experts agree that meals should include up to 65 percent carbohydrates. According to the Food and Nutrition Board, an individual should also consume up to 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.
Of course, it is difficult to say what exactly the “average man/woman” really is — and for that matter, who is interested in average? — so many wonder how many carbs they should be eating each day. The typical individual should consume about 2.5g of carbs for every 450g (15.8oz) of body weight.
Bodybuilders and other athletic people, on the other hand, should make sure they’re getting up to 80g of carbs per meal, with four to six meals per day.
Bodybuilders are no strangers to protein; anyone serious about the exercise understands how important the molecule is for repairing, strengthening and growing the muscles. To take it a step further, it’s required for the body’s organs and hemoglobin to function properly.
For the average person, protein should make up about 35 percent of daily calories.
In most cases, that means up to 0.8g of protein daily per kilogram (2.2lbs). Naturally, the bodybuilder will want to consume 1g of protein for every lean body pound, collectively consuming up to 40g of protein per meal.
It is wise to limit fats from food to about 35 percent of one’s daily calories, or 25 percent for a bodybuilder. Some health experts suggest limiting saturated fats to just 10 percent of daily consumption.
Like simple carbohydrates, some fatty foods should be treated with discretion and care, but it is important not to avoid fats entirely. This is because they serve a few essential roles:
– Assist development and growth – Absorb vitamins A, D, E, K and others – Maintain cell membranes
In addition to this, stored body fat will perform two functions: – Cushions vital organs – Backup energy reserves
The human body is a true machine that can run on different kinds of fuel — collectively known as the macronutrients. It’s even capable of maintaining a reserve of fuel in the form of stored fat.
Like any machine, biomechanical or not, it has other maintenance needs.For instance, it is entirely reliant on food for nutritional nourishment, so a balanced diet is exceedingly important for bodybuilders and everyone else in the world.
They say you are what you eat, and they’re not wrong at all. The case for a healthy diet should easily present itself at this point; it will provide nourishment, ongoing fuel and help the body last longer.