Nutrition advice: the shape in your plate!
Nutrition advice: understand and learn the basics for a better hygiene of life.
Here are some nutrition tips to improve your lifestyle and your physical condition. The way you eat will influence your health, nutritional deficiencies can be responsible for serious illnesses. Understanding the following will also help you manage your weight, whether you want to lose or gain. Understanding how your body works is essential to being able to adapt to its needs and have lasting results.
Every day, your body uses energy to function. This energy is used to operate vital organs or to contract muscles. This energy is quantified as the calorie (kcal). The daily energy expenditure of each individual will depend on several factors: age, height, weight, sex and physical activity. Food helps meet these maintenance needs by providing the necessary calories.
This energy expenditure will mainly depend on your basal metabolism. This corresponds to the daily energy needs of your body at rest. That is to say the minimum expenditure of energy necessary for the proper functioning of cells, respiratory movements, heartbeat or the maintenance of vital organs. To lose weight faster, it is particularly wise to increase your basal metabolism.
On average, daily energy expenditure is:
2500 calories (kcal) for an adult male.
2000 calories (kcal) for an adult woman.
These figures are averages for people of average build and not doing physical activity.
To know the number of calories you burn each day there is only one solution. Eat the exact same meals (at the same times if possible) for several days aiming for a given calorie total and see if your weight increases or decreases.
If your weight increases it means that you are eating more calories than your body expends (calorie surplus). If it decreases it means that you are eating fewer calories than your body expends (calorie deficit) and if it stabilizes ... Bingo! You know exactly how many calories you burn per day.
The variations in your weight will therefore depend on the calories you ingest. The more you eat the more you gain weight and the less you eat the more you lose weight. However, it should be noted that the weight loss or gain indicated by your scale does not only concern fat. You can also gain or lose muscle.
The food is of plant or animal origin. They contain energy and nutrients that promote body growth, maintenance and proper functioning. These nutrients are made up of macronutrients and micronutrients.
The nutrient requirements will depend on the activity of each individual. Putting yourself in sport, for example, will force you to fill in certain deficiencies (such as zinc) or to eat more protein so as not to lose muscle. We must therefore find a balance between macros and micro nutrients so that the body does not lack anything. These days, micronutrients are unfortunately too low in our diet.
They are chains of amino acids. It is the very basis of our body: your muscles, hormones, enzymes and antibodies are made up of it. There are 20 amino acids of which 8 are essential because the body cannot manufacture them. We must therefore look for them in the diet, they are of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs and dairy products) or vegetable (soya, cereals, legumes, etc.).
Proteins are essential for muscle building because by definition muscle is made up of proteins (actually sarcomere composed of filaments of actins and myosins which are proteins). In this case you should know that a protein of animal origin is more effective for building muscle than a vegetable protein. For a person doing bodybuilding, a delicious soy steak will not be as effective in rebuilding muscle as a beef steak for example (even if with the same amount of protein).
Now how do you know how much protein you should eat each day? The average for a sedentary individual is between 0.6 and 0.8 g of protein per pound of body weight. A 75 kg individual should therefore eat about 60 g per day. Please note: 100 g of meat does not correspond to 100 g of protein, but only approximately 20-25 g. It is up to you to look at the labels to see the percentage of protein in the food.
These are sugars (or carbohydrates). They are the main source of energy for the human body.
When they enter the blood they take the form of glucose. When they enter muscle and liver they take the form of glycogen (the fuel for muscle contraction). Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are the only (macro) nutrients that are not essential for life. We could survive by eating only proteins and fats because the latter can turn into glucose. They are mainly found in sweet foods, fruits, milk, starches, vegetables, cereals etc.
Excess carbohydrates are most often responsible for weight gain
Lipids are the fat of living things. They are made up of fatty acid chains or derivatives. There are 3 types:
- Saturated fatty acids
- Monounsaturated fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Saturated fatty acids
Consumed in excess, they can have many harmful effects on the body such as an increase in insulin resistance or a decrease in the use of lipids as an energy substrate. They are not essential because the body is able to produce them on its own from carbohydrates. These fatty acids are found in butter, animal fats and palm oil. They have a solid form at room temperature.
Monounsaturated fatty acids
They are beneficial for health as long as they are consumed in reasonable amounts. These are for example omega-9 found in olive oil, of which we know all the benefits on cardiovascular health or on the prevention of certain cancers.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
They are perhaps the most important for maintaining good health because they concern omega-3 and omega-6, which are essential fatty acids that is to say that the body cannot manufacture. However, it should be noted that nowadays, our omega-3 omega-6 ratio is completely unbalanced. Indeed, for a quantity of omega-3 consumed, we ingest 20 times more omega-6, which is harmful to health. Omega-3s are found in vegetable fats such as rapeseed or walnut oil, in almonds and walnuts. Also, in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring or even tuna. Omega-6s are mainly found in animal fats from factory farms, red meat, corn, soybeans, oats or even vegetable oils (except olive or rapeseed oil).
Be careful, however, not to consume salmon or tuna too often. Being large fish, they are loaded with heavy metals which can be toxic to the body.
It is not uncommon for people who want to lose weight very quickly to go without fat in their meals. For example, they will banish all oils from their diet, thinking that consuming them would make them gain fat. Why ? Know that there is a hormone that has the opposite role of insulin: it is glucagon. Glucagon will draw on fat reserves to provide energy, it is he who drains your fat mass. And for this hormone to be secreted, you need good lipids like olive oil or almonds.
Dietary fiber cannot be digested or absorbed by our digestive system. A distinction is made between soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. Each of these two types of fiber acts in a different way in our body, and therefore generates different benefits.
These fibers dissolve in water. They are found in the internal structures of plants. They prevent constipation by forming a kind of gel during digestion. By slowing down transit, they slow down the rise in blood sugar, prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce fat absorption. They are therefore important in the mechanism for losing weight.
They are unable to dissolve in water. Their role is rather mechanical: they travel through the digestive tract unchanged and will therefore move food in the stomach and intestine. These are, for example, the outer shells of plants such as the skin of apples, legumes, whole grains and oilseeds.
We must tend to reduce the intake of insoluble fiber. Indeed, they can have a deleterious effect on the body by reducing the absorption of certain foods thus altering the metabolism. The husk of cereals or legumes, for example, can bind to minerals. By forming insoluble masses they can no longer be absorbed by the body. It is therefore wise to favor semi-complete rather than whole foods. They still contain fiber but less anti-nutritional factors.
Changing your eating habits does not happen overnight, but rest assured, an unbalanced meal from time to time will not destroy all your daily efforts and their benefits! Healthy eating means having a healthy lifestyle. The choices, decisions, meal planning, and whether to exercise regularly are all up to you..