I'm excited to start focusing even more on providing you with curated health related types of information. I know when I was going through my health coaching certification, there was a lot to absorb so I promise not to overwhelm you. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the name of the game here!
Okay, so when we talk about dieting (ugh!), there are at least 100 different diets out there. Trust me. I've got a PDF with all of them. Just let me know if you're interested in a copy. However, what I want to share with you is that while there are a lot of different diets out there, there are also 100 different dietary theories to go with them and they're confusing and contradictory AND there's hundreds of them. Even the experts are confused by the science. If the people we look to for nutritional guidance keep changing their views, it's no wonder the rest of us are befuddled and mystified, so we hear "Eat vegan. Eat Paleo. Eat soy. Soy is terrible for you. You've got to count calories. No, calories don't matter. Go raw. Go gluten-free. No, none of that matters." You can spend a lot of grueling time with complex and contradictory nutrition and dietary theories to try and make sense of it all. NOPE! Let's start with some very easy to understand information.
Let's start with the basics
Let's start with nutrition. What is it? Well, nutrition is the process of taking in, and assimilating, nutrients from the food that we eat that's necessary for the health and growth of the body. There are six main nutrients needed for: energy, maintenance of tissues, and the regulation of bodily processes. And those are: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, minerals and vitamins.
Out of the six nutrients I just mentioned, three of them are referred to as macronutrients. And those three are: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are called "macro" because the body needs a large amount of these. Macronutrients are unique because they are the only nutrients that provide your body with energy, which is measured in calories. In addition to macronutrients, there are also micronutrients. And they are the vitamins and minerals the body only requires trace amounts of for proper function.
So, micronutrients don't contain calories- they don't provide the body with energy-however, they help your body convert calorie-containing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy. So, they're very important. But let's stick with macronutrients and dive deeper into that because that's what's going to help you understand how to learn 100 dietary theories in a matter of minutes! Yes! Minutes!
What exactly are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are organic compounds that contain simple, double, or multiple sugar units and your body looks to carbohydrates for quick energy because carbs are broken down by the body more easily than the other macronutrients. More easily than protein and fat. Now there are three types of carbohydrates. There is simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. I don't want to confuse you, so I'll describe these types of carbs as simple carbohydrates that have a simple chemical structure of 1 to 2 sugar units, and they are broken down and metabolized easily by the digestive system and taste sweet like fruit. Complex carbohydrates by the name, have a complex chemical structure and range from three to thousands of sugar units long. So, it makes sense that with a more complex chemical structure, it takes more time to be broken down by the digestive system. They usually taste savory or starchy like potatoes verses the simple carbohydrates. What about fiber? Well, fiber can't be digested, and it doesn't provide calories, but it does help move food through the digestive tract, which is very important. So, all three kinds of carbohydrates are important in the diet because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is simple sugar that is the body's main source of fuel. Carbohydrates are important in the diet because the brain, the kidneys, the muscles and the heart need carbohydrates to function properly.
Okay, you still with me? Okay, good! Now, what about fats? There are three types of fats: saturated fat, unsaturated fat which include monosaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and the omega 3's and omega 6's. The third type is trans-fat. Fats are found in meat, nuts and seeds, oils, butter, fish, lard, dairy, and avocado.
What are proteins? Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. Proteins are required for the structure of cells, and they're also required for the structure, the function and the regulation of the body's tissues and organs. They're made up of hundreds of small units called amino acids, which are attached to each other in long chains to make up a protein. There is a lot more that I can say about proteins, but I promised not to overwhelm you and I'm going to keep my promise, given you're not already overwhelmed. I'm sure it may feel like a lot of information but think of it as grounding information for what I'm about to share.
You ready? Okay. All dietary theories simply shift the balance, source, or timing of macronutrients. All those diets out there? All they are doing is shifting these three important components:
Balance which means the ratio of carbs to fat to protein.
Source refers to which kinds of carbs or fats or proteins.
Timing refers to when to eat carbs or fats or proteins.
Doesn't that sound simple? Yes! Now that you know all of this, it's about what are the right fats (good fats) to eat, along with the balance of them with carbs and protein and when it's best to eat them. It's about what's right for the body type. Since we all have different bodies, one type is not the same or right as another for two different people, for example. Therefore, there is a diet for each person, and we have to find the right one. One that works for that individual.
As a Health Coach, I work with my clients to experiment with different foods, to find the right balance (ratio of carb to fat to protein intake- what's on the plate), source, and timing of eating them as well as who they are being when they are eating- this is also key in my coaching. When they realize that it's not about yo-yo dieting (consequences to that if you're interested in knowing more, let me know) but rather it's about creating a different lifestyle that sticks, then they get it. And when they get it, transformation begins through that knowledge. Then they put that knowledge into action to produce habit change, that's life lasting; hence, clients get to the desired outcome for their life, body and health, that sticks.
If there is anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, then I welcome you to leave a comment below or reach out to me for a free consultation to get help in an area of your life or a change/transformation you want to begin this year! Click here to book an appointment Work With Me | Life Chapters Coaching
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