6 Week Challenge Clean Eating Facts
What are Macro & Micro Nutrients?
The 3 primary forms of Macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are called macronutrients because we consume them in the largest quantities. These macronutrients provide energy in the form of calories.
Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
Main role: Carbohydrates is your body’s main energy source. After they are broken down by the body they are stored in the form of glucose, which is then used by the body’s brain, heart and central nervous system to make your world go around. If you body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates stored it doesn’t run properly during workouts because it has to tap into other energy sources. This being said it is important to refuel with carbohydrates after a workout, but more about that later.
**Myth Buster: “I’m on a no carb diet”. Carbohydrates is NOT the same as bread and grains. Carbohydrates are in grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. Your body can function without bread and other grains however, carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL for everyday life. Saying you are on a “no carb diet” isn’t possible and isn’t healthy for you. Instead stay away from processed carbs like white flour (white bread, white rice, pasta, cakes and cookies the list goes on and on). Do include whole grain carbs like whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, barley the list goes on and on.
Fat: 9 Calories per gram
Main Role: Fat is your body’s secondary energy source; in addition fats help your body break down and absorb vitamins and help keep you full and satiated. There are “good fats” like nuts, seeds, fish and certain oils. There are also “bad fats” like saturated and trans fats that are mostly found in processed foods, sugary and salty foods. Trans and Saturated fast should be highly avoided; this is the kind of fat that will help bring fat to the midsection. Good fat, like your Omega 3’s and 6’s, are essential for insulting the body and protecting your organs.
*Myth Buster: “Fats make you fat”. This is a HUGE misconception that can lead to a macronutrient imbalance. Some people will avoid fats because they assume it will cause them to gain weight when in reality if you aren’t eating enough GOOD fats your body will have to rely on another macronutrient that will cause weight gain.
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Main role: Proteins are made up of amino acids; amino acids are not produced naturally by the body, and so we consume them through protein. Protein is essential to building, repairing, and maintaining muscle tissue. When you workout, you are essentially tearing your muscle tissue down. When the body begins to repair, it draws on protein the repair the tissue in order to make it stronger than it was before. This is how you successfully gain lean muscle.
**Myth Buster: “Protein is best after workouts”. Carbohydrates is your main source of energy to help power your workouts. After your workouts your carbohydrate “tanks” are empty. Yes protein is important to help rebuild your muscles and you SHOULD have protein but remember to mix in some carbohydrates to refuel fully. Fuel up right! Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Apple and nut butter, protein powder in a smoothie, nuts and fruit or veggies or some examples of how to get a good balance.
Have a correct marco balance is KEY for good healthy and maintaining a healthy weight! An imbalance is one of the fastest ways to gain weight. Your body knows how much carbs, protein and fats it needs. Once it receives all that it needs your body will store the access as body fat. If you get too much protein your body stores it as body fat, not enough carbohydrate and your body will start to break down muscles to use for energy. Balance is KEY!
I love using My Fitness Pal, SUPER easy and it shows a clear graph of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. They also make a free app! USE IT!
These nutrients are necessary, but only in small amounts. These are your vitamins and minerals. They are necessary for healthy function of all your body’s systems.
Tips and Tricks to eating clean:
- Should I only buy organic? Not necessary but DO follow the Dirty Dozen.
“The Dirty Dozen” list includes (you should buys all of these organically) :
- domestic blueberries
- sweet bell peppers
- spinach, kale and collard greens
- imported grapes
***When you are grocery shopping always look at the food label.***
- If there are more than three words you can’t pronounce it means it is too processed and no good!
- If sugar is one of the first three ingredients it should be treated like a dessert.
- Pay attention to the sugar and sodium content there shouldn’t be more than 20% in a serving and if there is, limit your daily consumption of the product.
Foods to avoid:
- White anything (white flour, white cane sugar, white potatoes, white rice) they are low in nutrients and highly processed that spike your blood sugar.
- Artificial sugar (anything that says aspartame is NO GOOD, splenda, equal, sweet n low and other fake
- Sugars should be avoided like the plague. NO need for extra chemicals in your body. Yes it is lower or
- Zero calories however, your body gets addicted to to a chemical like that which will harm you in the long run)
- If there is High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, or Sucrose its no good!
- Soda. Try adding citrus juice or fruit juice to sparkling water instead of sipping on soda
- Sugary drinks like gatorade, ENERGY DRINKS are a BIG NO, sweetened teas, juices that aren’t fresh and aren’t from concentrate. You know what that mean, no Kill Cliff.
- Fast food (this should be an obvious one)
- Be careful with protein bars, most of them are full of sugar and really just a candy bar in disguise.
Foods to Eat:
- Fresh fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
- Clean Meats and Cheese; clean meaning organic and hormone free (same for eggs)
- Nuts and Seeds