This post is sort of a prelude to my next few posts, because I think it’s important for all of you to know about other things involving food besides calories. So many of us obsess over counting calories, but calories are nothing if you don’t take other factors into consideration, like fat, protein, carbs, and fiber. I’m going to briefly go through each of these in case you don’t understand. Before I do, you should know that 300 calories of pizza and 300 calories of vegetables are not the same. I hope you know this. I really do.
Anyway, when it comes to fat, how much is too much? Is there a such thing as not enough? (Yes). Your fat intake should consist of about 30-35% of your total intake. So if you have 1500 calories a day, 30% of that should be fat. Stay away from saturated and trans fat too. Read the labels. It’s okay to have a little saturated fat, but be careful. Unsaturated fats are often good for you, which are in fish, seafood, nuts, avocado, etc. These are monounsaturated fats, and they have tons of other benefits, from protein to boosting your mood. They also include omega-3 fatty acids. But, I’m not trying to get too complicated here. Just pay attention to the fat content as much as you do the calorie content.
We hear every day that carbs are bad, but it depends on what kinds of carbs you consume. For instance, white bread is a simple carb, which ends up pretty much turning to sugar. Apples, on the other hand are complex carbs, contain fiber, and keep you full longer. When choosing foods with carbs, make sure there is fiber as well. Some foods besides apples include whole grain/wheat bread, many vegetables, fruits, and beans. Fiber is key to proper digestion, and like I said, keeping you full longer. Women should have 20-25 grams a day.
In general, your recommended carbs can be calculated like this: Daily Calories divided by 2. (For me, that’s 1200 divided by 2, so 600). Then divide that number by 4. (600/4=150). I usually try to stay around 100 grams of carbs though, since I’m still trying to lose weight.
Now I’ll go over protein. Depending on what sites you read, they will all tell you different amounts for how much protein you should have. In general, about 15-20% of your calories should come from protein. The process is sort of confusing and I’m terrible at explaining math, so try this link to figure out how much protein you need. It shows you how it depends on your activity level as well, since protein plays a role in muscle growth.
This post is a little long and complicated, but the main point I’m trying to make is that counting calories alone won’t get the job done. You need to pay attention to other things as well. Otherwise, you’ll be a lost cause. Don’t be stupid when it comes to what you put in your body. For my next few blog posts, I will focus each post entirely on one aspect of nutrition, including carbs, fat, protein, sugar, and fiber. I will go into more detail of each during the next week or so, so stay posted. 🙂