As we work to change our bodies and improve our nutritional habits, this always holds true:
If we consume more food (calories/energy) than our bodies use, we gain weight. If we consume less food (calories/energy) than our bodies use, we lose weight.
The food choices that we make have a direct impact on the progress of our health goals. If you think about it, a calorie is a calorie. 500 calories of chicken breast and 500 calories of candy provide your body with the same amount of energy but have different implications in terms of satiety and nutritional composition. The 500 calories of candy will taste great and provide some momentary happiness but the candy will not keep you full long and provide your body with much needed macro and micro nutrients. For those that are seeking to change their body in some way, the types of food you eat have a direct impact on your progress.
Quick Primer on Nutritional Composition
These are the three major things that your body needs each day to function. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fat.
Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram
Proteins contain 4 calories per gram
Fats contain 9 calories per gram
You can think of these as vitamins and minerals. An adequate intake of all micronutrients is necessary for optimal health, as each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in your body. Eating a variety of whole foods is the best way to ensure you get all you need. You can also take supplements to help get in additional nutrients.
Clean or healthy foods (aka nutrient-dense foods) are more conducive to weight loss than “dirty” or “unhealthy” ones because they are generally lower in calories. Getting the majority of your daily calories from nutrient-dense foods when dieting for fat loss makes for a much easier, more enjoyable dieting experience. You can typically eat way more of these foods too!
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