If you've been following the series along, you've read how under eating can affect your metabolic rate & the key to maintained weight loss and body composition is a healthy metabolic rate (click here for part 1). You then read how the composition of those calories will determine the type of weight lost or gained--protein, carbohydrates, and fat (click here for part 2). The last part of the series here I want to address is why macronutrient composition is important to consider, and not just calories in vs. calories out.
Can you lose weight eating just Twinkies and Girl Scout cookies??? (Man that sounds good for a split second. Ha!) YES! But are those type of choices going to give you the body composition that you want? NO! At least not for me, and I hope you as well. Do you want to be 'skinny fat'? Each to their own, but I'm pretty sure for most, that wouldn't be the ideal body composition. More importantly, the number of health issues that could occur from the Twinkie/Girl Scout cookie diet, is a fairly obvious concern. (I can already anticipate the sugar crash...)
Finding the ideal balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat for YOUR individual lifestyle and activity level, is of the upmost importance. The truth is, any excess of protein, carbohydrates, or fat can be stored as body fat. The composition of these macronutrients affects how you feel, how you sleep, how you perform, how you recover, and how you look!
When I started my own nutrition journey, I had always been more concerned with food quality and overall total number of calories vs. composition of the macronutrients. I got real hung up on types of 'good' foods and 'bad' foods, and a little neurotic on eating what I thought was the most nutritious types of foods.
Food quality will always be a priority, but I have learned throughout my own process and journey, that it is OK to lighten up and enjoy some less-than-stellar food quality choices. Apple Jacks anyone?? There are no 'good' foods or 'bad' foods. I feel better eating certain quality foods, but I can have the others too within my macronutrient plan. I changed my way of thinking to find what fuels me best for everyday health and training performance.
Finding balance and flexibility were key themes that took a LONG time to find and be ok with. And this referred to many aspects of life, with nutrition just being one aspect. I love to eat! Don't tell me I can't have something, otherwise I am more likely to do it anyway. Ha, ha! It works better for most to have a little something every day that feels like a 'cheat' rather than a 'cheat DAY' where you are more likely to go on a full blown binge. Your body deals better with small adaptations than crazy large consumption changes. Plus, typically your digestive system will like you better if you do it this way.
Another key consideration that I want to address is that restriction can lead to binging and a poor relationship with food that can cause guilt, anxiety, poor self esteem, etc., and therefore can lead to poor mental or psychological health. I want you to be ok with eating out on date night, or enjoying that holiday meal. If one aspect of your wheel of health is off (physical, spiritual, or mental), then your overall health will be unbalanced. We're trying to create a smooth ride so that you can be the best version of yourself.
If your overall health (physical, mental, and spiritual health) is important enough to you, and your 'WHY' is important enough and clear to you, you will find a way to take the steps necessary to make YOU a priority. Nutrition just happened to be the key catalyst for me that affected so much more in my life. I felt it was such an important choice that I even sold my old Lululemon on eBay to pay for the investment! It was THAT much of a game-changer in my life!
Sometimes it takes making yourself a priority so that you can give more to others. This is a necessity for overall health as only you can make the choice.