You have those three words pushed down your throat every time you walk into a food shop, check social media (usually by one of our friends 28 year old Greek god type crossfitters) or even better whenever you find yourself on a social event (dinner with guys from work, catch up drinks with the wife’s besties and other delightful occasions) cornered by the oh-so-wise-and-venerable-only-speak-to-me-when-spoken-to… foodie. They know everything that there is to know don’t they. You gotta love them a little. Feed their egos with Goji berries and pomegranate juice, but never past midnight.
In any case, those three words refer to what you call Macronutrients, aka macros. Our bodies need them for a large number of reasons, from energy to cell protection to muscle fibre regeneration. Food companies need them (especially the P word) to boost sales of otherwise normal food products.
Protein chicken anyone??
In a nutshell:
Carbohydrates provide you with energy (amongst about a million other things)
Fat provides your body with organ and cell protection (amongst about a million other things)
Protein helps with the process of tissue regeneration (amongst blab bla bla shut up)
By know I assume you must be tired of hearing which one of those is good and bad for you. I myself get still nowadays conflicted messages when hearing FROM THE SAME SOURCES how any of those macros are good for you in certain amount at certain times only to hear a few days later the complete opposite. WTF… Well I guess magazines have to sell monthly don’t they…
Reality is that those macros have always been part of the human diet, and as such none of them are inherently (I like that word a lot, I may use it later…) good or bad. Just like Sunday lunch with the in-laws doesn’t need to be a drag. Remove one of them macros and the balance in your diet will be gone. Our bodies do not like that.
Up until a few years back, Fat was public enemy number 1. We all wanted to shed a few pounds so we were told (by the foodies, I’ll have you know…) it was as easy as reducing fat intake through your diet would inevitably equal to the body using up whatever fat we had stored and voila! Fat would disappear. Nowadays it seems carbohydrates are the devil incarnate. Stay away from white potatoes after 6pm or you will burn in hell!!
Erm… not quite but pass me the bowl of gojis please…
I myself suffered the consequences of misinformation through an extremely low fat and low carb diet when I decided all I wanted was to have my abs on show, therefore reducing body fat was a must. I went on a caloric deficit (ingesting less calories than the amount I burnt on daily basis) for about 16 weeks. I did a lot of cardio 5-6 per week. Me being me, I kept committed to my goals and did not astray from it. I got to see considerable fat reduction on my body alright; only problem with the fat also went my mood, my energy, my libido. I know, hard to imagine all this charm just disappearing. In effect I became someone dark and sombre I wasn’t happy with. So much so even my lovely wife threatened with increasing lunch with the in-laws to twice per week unless I brought balance back to my diet. Point of no return.
Point being even when on a deficit (i.e. losing weight is the goal) the balance of all three macronutrients must be maintained.
Carbs are not bad.
Fat is not bad.
Excess protein is not always necessary.
I just want to start clarifying things. More detail on each one of them macros soon.