The 5 Principles to a great body Part 3

Posted: Saturday, 10 March 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels:

We learnt in the last post that avoiding spiking your blood sugar is essential in avoiding the storage of fat. This is important in improving your body composition and your overall health.

Once one has accomplished this and is still struggling with body composition, we must begin to dig deeper. When this occurs, one needs to start playing with their macronutrient ratio (protein, fats, carbs). A general rule of thumb is your fats should equate to 30% of your consumed calories with the ratio being split equally between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. So, this leaves us with our protein and carbs to play with.

A good illustration to understand the role that carbs play, is to say we have two islands with people stranded on each. On the first island there is only carbs and the second has only fats and protein (this is impossible of course, but humor me for the sake of the illustration). In the first few days people on both islands would be feeling fine with no problems. However, if we came back to the island a month later the people on the carb island would all be dead and the people on the other island would be fine but very sluggish and tired.

This illustration demonstrates that carbs are not necessary for life. However, fats and protein are essential for life. Therefore, one needs to treat carbs as source to provide good quality energy. Due to this, many nutritionists and dietitians strongly disagree with the North American carb suggestions, feeling they are significantly too high.

When we look at protein it has been found to be an expensive fuel source. When I say this, I mean that it acts as a thermogenic. People who have diets high in protein have been found to have an increased metabolic rate and therefore need a greater amount of calories.

In conclusion one should ratio their fats to be 30% of their total caloric intake. The remaining caloric intake gives you room to play with your protein and carb ratios. A great rule to live by is the more athletic activities you are participating in, the more carbs you should have. This being said I am absolutely not telling you to throw out carbs all together, they are essential for performance. I am merely trying to shed light on the role of carbs and for you to understand how to ratio them.

Extra Tip: away to help deal with blood sugar level spikes is to eat complete meals. When you have proteins and fats associated with the carbs, the entire digestion process is slowed down. However during the course of athletic activities and immediately following them you want to have high glycemic carbs.